Will Food Be Trans-Fat Free in Three Years?

Trans Fats in Packaged Foods



Trans fatty acids — commonly called “trans fats” — were introduced through Crisco in 1911. The creators, Proctor & Gamble, developed a type of unsaturated fat that is uncommon in nature but became commonly produced industrially from vegetable fats for use in margarine, snack food, packaged baked goods and frying fast food.

Trans Fat in Food

Diets containing high amounts of trans fat are considered to be relatively unhealthy. Trans fat is positively correlated with high body weight, memory loss and heart disease. It has, additionally, been proven to increase bad cholesterol and LDL. Before the FDA created nutritional food labels in 2006, the food products containing trans fat was elusive. It was difficult for consumers to determine total trans fat amounts, consuming foods with high amounts all the while.

The Trans Fat “Ban” Movement

In 2007, Michael Bloomberg, New York mayor, banned trans fat in New York City foods. Restaurants cooking with trans fat were ordered to cease and forced to find healthier alternatives to the substance. In 2013, the FDA similarly regarded trans fat as a questionably safe substance until further scientific evidence proved its safety. Little science before 2013 suggested trans fat’s industry safety, but health problems linked with trans fat consumption had begun to emerge.

The Food and Drug Administration, now, has given food manufacturers three years to eliminate trans fat in dishes and product creation. Trans fat was included in products for over one hundred years, existing in a variety of foods without health concern. Now, however, industry officials and consumers alike acknowledge trans fat as “dangerous” and responsible for health conditions like increased blood cholesterol and obesity. Trans fat has also been linked to cardiovascular disease, which is a leading cause of death in the United States.

Foods are scheduled to be trans-fat-free in upcoming years, removing the substance from both stores and restaurant-purchased dishes. Overall, the movement is considered healthy, as the removal of trans fat is suggested to directly increase United States health standards within the food industry and possibly prevent thousands of premature deaths each year.


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