Say Good-bye to Trans Fat

For some time, partially hydrogenated oils have been known to directly affect heart health. The FDA’s recent decision to remove artificial trans fat in processed foods is a step in the right direction to reduce coronary heart disease, as diet and nutrition play a key role in preventing cardiovascular disease. The CDC estimates 610,000 people die of heart disease, the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US every year. Of those, 370,000 people die of coronary heart disease. “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, M.D.heart_disease_deaths

Since 2006, manufacturers have been required to include the content of trans fat in the Nutrition Facts label.  Between 2003 and 2012, the FDA estimates that consumer trans fat consumption decreased about 78 percent. Nutritional Fact labels have enabled individuals and families to make better dietary and nutritional choices and reduced trans fat in their meals. Currently, nutritional labels that contain below 0.5 grams of trans fat are still able to show “0” grams, but the complete elimination of these fats could further reduce coronary heart disease in the US.

Foods that typically contain trans fat

  • crackers, cookies, cakes, frozen pies and other baked goods

  • snack foods (e.g. microwave popcorn)

  • stick margarines

  • coffee creamers

  • refrigerated dough products (e.g. biscuits and cinnamon rolls)

  • ready-to-use frosting

How diet affects the health of our children

  • Coronary Heart Diseases affect nearly 1% of―or about 40,000―births per year in the United States.

  • Coronary Heart Diseases are a leading cause of birth defect-associated infant illness and death.

  • Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. 70% of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

  • Healthy lifestyles, including healthy eating and physical activity, can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases.

  • The dietary and physical activity in children and adolescents are influenced by many sectors of society: families, communities, schools, child care settings, medical care providers, government agencies, the media, the food and beverage industries, and entertainment industries. Schools play a critical role by establishing a supportive environment with strategies that support healthy behaviors.