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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

March 17, 2010

DOCTORS DEMAND BAN ON ARTIFICIAL TRANS FATS

GUARDIAN, UK - Leading doctors are demanding a complete ban on the use of man-made fats found in thousands of foodstuffs such as biscuits, ready meals and margarine, because they can damage health.

The UK Faculty of Public Health is urging ministers to eradicate artificial trans fatty acids, known as trans fats, from the British diet. The move is needed to reduce people's risk of suffering a heart attack or a stroke, says the faculty, which represents 3,300 doctors and public health specialists in the NHS, local government and medical research.

Trans fats, found in many cakes, pastries, pies, chips and fast foods, are chemically altered vegetable oils used to bulk up foods and increase their shelf life. They have no nutritional value and boost levels of "bad" cholesterol, thereby increasing the chances of a heart attack. Trans fats also occur naturally in meat and dairy products, but these pose no risk.

The World Health Organization believes artificial trans fats are harmful to health and wants them to be minimized or eliminated altogether. They have also been blamed for causing fertility problems in women.

The UK should follow the example of Denmark, New York, California, Switzerland and Austria in banning trans fats, said Professor Alan Maryon-Davis, the faculty's president. Other countries and regions are planning to take similar action.


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