What: On June 18, 2018, the United States is scheduled to impose a ban on trans fats in the food system; Canada will follow suit on September 15, 2018.

Expert: Shauna Downs, Assistant Professor, Rutgers School of Public Health, is available for interviews on how this impending ban will affect cardiovascular health in residents of North America.

Quote: "In my research, trans fat bans — as compared to mandatory labeling or voluntary approaches — were found to be the most effective at reducing trans fat levels in the food supply and have the greatest potential to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease, particularly among lower socioeconomic groups. Despite strong evidence for their impact, only a handful of countries worldwide have adopted bans and foods high in trans fat remain in the food supply, often at a lower price than their trans fat free counterparts."

Dr. Downs’ Research Background: Dr. Downs is a food systems researcher who examines the use of policies and interventions aimed at improving the quality of food supply, such as food policy (e.g., trans fat bans, sodium reduction policies, food taxes) to reduce non-communicable diseases; increasing production of nutrient-rich foods (e.g., vegetables) in low-income settings in Africa and Asia; the food environment transition in developing countries that has led to an increase in obesity and non-communicable disease; and the links between diets and climate change/sustainability. 

Recent Study: “The Impact of Policies to Reduce trans Fat Consumption: A Systematic Review of the Evidence” examined the impact of trans fat policies worldwide.

Link to Study: https://academic.oup.com/cdn/article/1/12/cdn.117.000778/4772171