The US war on fat

Decision to ban partially hydrogenated oils is aimed at curbing obesity and heart attacks.

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    Trans fat is a man-made substance most commonly associated with junk food like chips, donuts, pizza and cake [AP]
    Trans fat is a man-made substance most commonly associated with junk food like chips, donuts, pizza and cake [AP]

    Americans are big. Really big. More than a third of them are obese  and there’s little indication the numbers are going down.

    Now, the US government is taking steps to try to thin the masses, and make them healthier. 

    This action is expected to reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year.

    Stephen Ostroff, FDA Acting Commissioner

    On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it is banning partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the primary source of trans fat, from food unless a company receives special permission.

    Manufacturers must comply within three years. Trans fat is a man-made substance most commonly associated with junk food like chips, donuts, pizza and cake.

    It is used to maintain a product's shelf life. But most doctors consider them to be some of the worst kinds of fat to consume.

    The American Medical Association has stated there is overwhelming evidence linking trans fat to strokes and heart attacks. They have been lobbying for years to have them eliminated.

    "This action is expected to reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year," said FDA's Acting Commissioner Stephen Ostroff in making Tuesday’s announcement.

    The Grocery Manufacturers Association, one of the leading lobbying groups for food and beverage companies, applauded the move, too.

    "FDA has acted in a manner that both addresses FDA's concerns and minimises unnecessary disruptions to commerce," the association said in a statement.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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