Submitted to: Annals Of Internal Medicine
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/25/2012
Publication Date: 7/17/2012
Citation: Lichtenstein, A. 2012. New York City trans fat ban: improving the default option when purchasing foods prepared outside the home. Annals Of Internal Medicine. 157(2):144-145. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The adverse effects of trans fatty acid (trans fat) on cardiovascular health have been known for at least 2 decades. During that time, both the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Institute of Medicine’s Dietary Reference Intake guidelines have recommended restricting trans fat intake to the extent possible. To facilitate adherence to this guidance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration mandated in 2003 that trans fat content be listed on the Nutrient Facts panel of packaged foods by 2006. This ruling enabled consumers to make purchasing decisions based on the information provided, and it incentivized food manufacturers to reformulate products to reduce trans fat content. Recent data suggest that these efforts have been successful. Between 2000 and 2009, plasma trans fat levels in non-Hispanic white adults living in the United States decreased by 50%. The U.S. Department of Agriculture documented a dramatic decrease in the trans fat content of newly introduced foods and an increase in the use of “no trans fat” claims on food packaging between 2005 and 2010. However, foods prepared outside of the home are unaffected by the labeling requirements.