Monday 4 February 2008
Trans fats (or trans fatty acids) have a similar effect on blood cholesterol as saturated fats – they raise the type of cholesterol in the blood that increases the risk of heart disease. Average intakes of trans fats in the UK are however just half the two percent maximum recommended intake of our total food energy and therefore not a cause for concern.
The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) advises that the maximum average intake of trans fats should be no more than 2% of a person's total food energy. The SACN position statement on trans fatty acids and health can be found on the SACN website at the link below.
In 2007, the Agency carried out a review of trans fats at the request of the Secretary of State for Health. This review looked at the health impacts of current intakes of trans fats, voluntary activities by the UK food industry to reduce levels of artificial trans fats in food, and the legislative actions already taken in other countries (Denmark and New York).
The Agency's Board considered this review in December 2007 and made its recommendations to the Secretary of State for Health. You can find out more about the review, the Agency's recommendations and the Secretary of State's response to these recommendations at the links below.