Current Content
Volume 35, Number 6
November/December 2009

Trans Fat Intake in Children: Risks and Recommendations
Lindsay R. Bauer
Julee Waldrop


Partially hydrogenated oils, also known as trans fat, are found in many baked goods, snack foods, fast foods, margarines, and shortening. Partially hydrogenated oil is vegetable oil that has been modified to be solid at room temperature and lengthens the shelf life of products in which it is used. Consumption of trans fat has been linked to negative changes in lipoproteins, systemic inflammation, coronary heart disease, and diabetes mellitus. Evidence of processes leading to these conditions has also been found in children. Dietary habits and preferences are established in early childhood; therefore, it is important to intervene early with parents to help them make healthier food choices for their families. Educational intervention should reflect successful programs, be based on a theoretical model, and focus on the adverse health effects of consuming trans fat and the importance of choosing a diet that favors unprocessed foods.