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trans fatty acids
american medical association
obesity epidemic
blood streams
journal of the american medical association
trans fats
food and drug administration
american adults
cholesterol levels
centers for disease control and prevention
American's Trans Fat Levels Are Dropping: Too Soon To Celebrate Though
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American\'s Trans Fat Levels Are Dropping: Too Soon to Celebrate Though

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, American adults have less of the dangerous trans fats floating in their blood streams than they did as little as a decade ago. In that study, which looked at blood samples gathered in 2000 and then again in 2009, researchers found that on average, the level of trans fatty acids in the blood was down by nearly sixty percent. The study focused only on white adults at this time.

The research, led by Hubert Vesper of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention., took blood samples from just under 230 white adults that were collected in 2000 when they participated in a National Health Survey. In a second study, the samples were again tested for the signs of the major trans fatty acids in 2009. Since these acids remain stable in the blood stream, researchers said that the samples would not have degraded since the collection date until the second testing.

Since the study only involved white adults there is no way to determine if the drop has occurred across the general public. In addition, researchers cannot tell if there is any change in overall cholesterol levels to correspond to these drops. Researchers cannot point to a single reason that the change has happened, theorizing instead that it is the result of several key factors. In 2003, the Food and Drug Administration changed a requirement, forcing all food manufacturers to clearly list the trans fat content on all labels and food menus. In addition, some food makers voluntarily started reducing the amount of trans fats that they were adding to foods. There has also been a dramatic increase in education about trans fat and why they are bad for your health.

Trans fat has been in the news in the past decade, not only because of the ongoing obesity epidemic but because there have been movements to ban it completely. New York City became the first major US city to completely ban trans fats after passing that law in 2006. Restaurants of all sizes were given two years to phase out the trans fats from their menus and to replace them with healthier options. At the time of the ban, it was estimated that adults ate nearly five pounds of trans fats every year. NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg pushed the legislation as part of a mission to increase the health of the cities residents.


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