Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Millions of Europeans still at risk from high trans fatty acid content in popular foods

Date:
September 17, 2012
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
The heart health of millions of Europeans is still at risk because of the persistently high trans fatty acid content of certain fast and convenience foods, indicates new research.

The heart health of millions of Europeans is still at risk because of the persistently high trans fatty acid content of certain fast and convenience foods, indicates research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

While the overall TFA fat content of foods has fallen, few European countries have imposed any legal limits, meaning that it is perfectly possible to buy certain packaged and restaurant foods which still contain very high levels, say the authors.

Trans fatty acids (TFA) are primarily produced by the industrial hydrogenation of vegetable oils, a process that solidifies them and helps to prolong the shelf life of the baked goods in which they are used.

But previous research, which analysed data from four large studies, indicates that a daily intake of TFA of 5g was associated with a 23% increased risk of coronary heart disease.

The authors analysed the TFA content of popular foods in 16 member countries of the European Union (EU) in 2005 and again in several countries in 2009.

Only those foods which listed "partially hydrogenated vegetable fat" high on the contents list and contained more than 15g of fat per 100g were included.

In all, 70 servings of French fries and chicken nuggets, 90 packs of microwavable popcorn, and 442 samples of cakes, biscuits, and wafers were included in the analysis.

In 2005, a large serving of French fries and nuggets, 100g of microwavable popcorn, and 100g of cake or biscuits or wafers provided more than 30g/100g of TFA in five EU countries in Eastern Europe and between 20g and 30g in eight Western European countries.

In 2009 the analysis revealed that the TFA content in French fries and nuggets had fallen substantially in all the European countries studied. But while the TFA content of popcorn, cakes and biscuits had fallen in Western European countries, this was not the case in Eastern Europe where it remained high.

The same portions still provided high TFA content of between 10g and 20g in Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. But the equivalent menu in Germany, France and the UK provided less than 2g.

Clearer food labelling is one way of curbing trans fatty acid intake, but most countries still rely on food manufacturers to voluntarily reduce the TFA content of their products, the authors point out.

Only a few countries -- Denmark, Austria, Switzerland and Iceland -- have gone down the legislative route and forced industry to limit the amount of TFA used in foods to 2% of the total fat.

But foods containing trans fats, which can comprise up to 60% of the total fat content, can still legally be sold as shop bought packaged goods, or unpackaged in restaurants and fast food outlets elsewhere in Europe, the authors emphasise.

"It means that in 2012 only a minority -- approximately 14 million of the 500 million people in the EU -- are protected by legislation against foods [containing] high amounts of [TFA]," they warn.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Stender, A. Astrup, J. Dyerberg. A trans European Union difference in the decline in trans fatty acids in popular foods: a market basket investigation. BMJ Open, 2012; 2 (5): e000859 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-000859

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Millions of Europeans still at risk from high trans fatty acid content in popular foods." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120917202800.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2012, September 17). Millions of Europeans still at risk from high trans fatty acid content in popular foods. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120917202800.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Millions of Europeans still at risk from high trans fatty acid content in popular foods." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120917202800.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins