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N Z Med J. 2007 Nov 9;120(1265):U2801.

Trans fats in New Zealand: time for labelling regulations?

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Green Lane Cardiovascular Service, Auckland City Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand.


Trans fats (trans fatty acids) are commonly used for deep frying in restaurants and in the fast food, snack food, fried food, and baked goods industries, often to extend the shelf life of foods. However they are widely considered to be harmful to health. Trans fats were banned in New York City restaurants from 1 July 2007, and there is growing vocal opposition to trans fats in the European Union. Denmark became the first country, in March 2003, to introduce laws regulating the content of trans fats in food (maximum of 2% of edible fats and oils). What are trans fats, what harm do they cause, and should New Zealand also consider imposing mandatory regulations on their use in food? This article explores the issues.

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