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Trans fats in Australian fast foods

David Cameron-Smith and Andrew J Sinclair
Med J Aust 2006; 185 (5): 293.
Published online: 4 September 2006

To the Editor: Trans fats are produced by partial hydrogenation of liquid vegetable oils to produce oils which are more solid at room temperature and have better physical properties for food processing, such as increased shelf-life. Trans fats represent a major dietary cardiovascular disease risk, with as little as 5 g daily increasing the risk of ischaemic heart disease by 25%.1 A recently published survey of the trans-fat content of French fries and chicken nuggets purchased from two international fast food chains in 20 countries emphasises the wide variability of trans fats in different countries.2 This work highlights the potential health risks imposed by the industrially generated trans fats in these food products. Of the sampled French fries and nuggets, 20 of 39 samples from 19 different countries yielded trans-fat levels in excess of 5 g for an average serve. Interestingly, the report included no data from Australia.

  • David Cameron-Smith
  • Andrew J Sinclair

  • School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Melbourne, VIC.

Correspondence: davidcs@deakin.edu.au

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