Trans fats are very common in hydrogenated vegetable oil and have been tied to heart disease risks. A new study released by New York City officials on Monday found that an average fast food meal was reduced from three grams to only a half gram of trans fat.
Researchers said the move by the city was a small step, but a step forward. The researchers said it was only trans fat therefore does not affect the amount of calories and does not mean someone can eat all they want. They stressed it was just one change in the whole diet of someone and that much more was needed.
New York City, in 2006, passed new ordinances that prohibited restaurants from selling food that contained partially hydrogenated oils and had a half a gram or more per serving of trans fat. Those new ordinances started in 2008.
Researchers, in order to test the results of the new policy, briefly surveyed a number of customers that left 168 different fast food establishments that belong to 11 different popular chains. The surveys were conducted before the policies took place and a year following the enforcement. The chains where people were surveyed included Burger King, McDonalds, Yum! Brands and Subway.
Based on 6,669 receipts from customers in 2007, the average meal had 2.9 grams of trans fat. In 2009, that trans fat figure had dropped to 0.5 grams in a survey of more than 7,880 customers. Meals with zero trans fat went from 32% prior to the new policies to 59% following the policies implementation.