AMA Backs Action Against Trans Fats

Armen Hareyan's picture

Government moves to ban artery-clogging trans fats and text-messaging while driving have the support of the American Medical Association, the nation's largest physicians' group decided Monday at its semiannual policy meeting.

The AMA voted to back any state and federal efforts to ban the use of trans fats in restaurants and bakeries, and also voted to lobby for more state bans on text-messaging while driving or operating machinery. The AMA also wants doctors to educate patients about the risks of texting while driving, the Associated Press reported.

A number of U.S. cities and fast-food chains already have outlawed or eliminated trans fats, and there are numerous bans on text-messaging while driving.

At its meeting, the AMA also agreed to encourage more doctors to practice in underserved communities, to increase the number of primary-care doctors, and to encourage physicians to play a stronger role in promoting policies to combat climate change, the AP reported.

Reported by NurseTips.


On the issue of Trans-Fats the American Medical Association has announced the following information on where it stands.

In an effort to help Americans maintain good health and lower the risk of the nation's number one killer, heart disease, the American Medical Association (AMA) today adopted policy that supports legislation to ban the use of artificial trans fats in restaurants and bakeries nationwide.

"Trans fats have been proven to raise LDL, the bad cholesterol, while lowering HDL, the good cholesterol, which significantly increases the risk for heart disease," said Mary Anne McCaffree, MD, AMA board member. "By supporting a ban on the use of artificial trans fats in restaurants and bakeries, we can help improve the quality of the food Americans eat and may ultimately save lives."

Major cities like Chicago and New York have already placed a ban on the use of trans fats in restaurants and bakeries. California signed a law banning trans fats earlier this year. Previous AMA policy on trans fats urged a reduction in its use and encouraged replacing trans fats with healthier fats and oils.

"Not all fats are the same," said Dr. McCaffree. "By replacing artificial trans fats with healthier alternatives, like extra virgin olive oil, we could prevent approximately 30,000 to 100,000 premature deaths each year."

Trans fats comes from adding hydrogen to vegetable oil through a process called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation gives foods a longer shelf life. Commercial baked goods, like crackers, cookies and cakes, along with many fried foods, like french fries and doughnuts contain trans fats.

"Eating healthy and getting regular exercise are two of the best things you can do in your daily life to achieve and maintain good health. Packaged foods that contain trans fats must say so on the label, so read the nutritional labels at the grocery store and choose your foods carefully," said Dr. McCaffree.