By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
Earlier this year, Mexico made the move to tax fatty foods in order to control obesity rates in the nation. Not too long after that, researchers from the United Kingdom determined that their nation should make sugary drinks expensive to discourage people from buying them. Now, the US is taking steps to ban processed trans fats from the country!
Artificial trans fats are created by adding hydrogen atoms to liquid vegetable oils, which makes them solid. Not only do they serve as a flavorful boost for food, trans fats also tack on some extra shelf life, as you can tell with processed foods such as popcorn, frozen pizzas, and desserts. Although these fats were intended to replace the unhealthy effects of saturated fats, they don’t have any real health benefits. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, trans fats decrease healthy cholesterol, increase bad cholesterol, and raise the risk of heart disease!
Even though America has been decreasing how much trans fats they consume, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) say the numbers could definitely be lower. “While consumption of potentially harmful artificial trans fat has declined over the last two decades in the United States, current intake remains a significant public health concern,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.
By banning trans fats in the nation, the FDA estimate around 20,000 heart attacks could be avoided and about 7,000 lives could be saved. “The FDA’s action today is an important step toward protecting more Americans from the potential dangers of trans fat,” said Hamburg.
Featured image courtesy of Peter Hinsdale on Flickr.