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Trans fatty acids threat less than imagined

By Wang Qingyun  (

09:07, March 19, 2013

Trans fatty acids pose much less of a threat to Chinese people than the public assumes, a national food safety center said on Monday.

In 2011, the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment started an assessment of Chinese people's consumption of trans fatty acids in response to public concerns over possible excessive intake. It found that their intake is much lower than the limit recommended by World Health Organization.

The WHO recommends these acids should comprise no more than 1 percent of a person's total energy intake.

The acids can be found in dairy products and margarine, which is partially hydrogenated and widely used in fast food and baked goods such as cookies and cakes, and chocolate. Excessive intake of trans fatty acids regularly can heighten the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

The center tested 2,613 food samples collected in Beijing, Guangzhou, Xi’an, Chengdu and Shanghai, and monitored more than 105,000 people in Beijing and Guangzhou to record their diets for three days. It found that trans fatty acids comprised 0.16 percent of the energy intake for residents in these five cities on average.

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