An ongoing saga of 2013 was the attempt by Mayor Bloomberg of New York City to ban the sale of large sugary drinks. Despite 40% of the city’s children being overweight, the proposed ban was met with much resistance.
A new ban for 2014, this time proposed by the US’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is to phase out partially hydrogenated oils — the main culprits of trans fatty acids, also known as trans fats.
A new age of fat-free
Partially hydrogenated oils were once regarded as a healthy alternative for animal fats and butter in food preparation until they were found responsible for a host of health problems like high cholesterol, triglycerides and ultimately coronary heart disease.
Trans fats are also being studied for their link to diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, obesity, liver dysfunction, infertility in women, behavioural and depressive disorders.
In 2006 the FDA implemented mandatory disclosure of trans fats on nutrition labels, so while many food items have seen a drop from 3 grams to 0,5 grams of trans fats, a loophole means products with 0,5 grams can be classified as trans fat free.
With fast food chains on board with the ban, which has been met with much less resistance by the public, it’s hoped the ban can prevent up to 20 000 cases of heart disease and 7 000 deaths