A total of 7,200 deaths could be prevented in the next five years if trans fats were removed from processed food in the UK, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has reported.
In a research paper it said that a ban might “prevent or postpone” the deaths from coronary heart disease.
The primary sources of industrial trans fatty acids are in cereal products, margarines, potato chips, biscuits, confectionery and other snacks.
It concluded that: “A regulatory policy to eliminate trans fatty acids from processed foods in England would be the most effective and equitable policy option. Intermediate policies would also be beneficial. Simply continuing to rely on industry to voluntarily reformulate products, however, could have negative health and economic outcomes.
“A total ban on industrial trans fatty acids in processed foods in England might potentially prevent or postpone about 7,200 deaths from coronary heart disease in 2015-20 and reduce inequality in mortality from coronary heart disease by about 3,000 deaths.”
Policies to improve labelling or simply remove trans fatty acids from restaurants/fast food could save between 1,800 and 3,500 deaths from coronary heart disease, it added.