Trans Fats :: Quick Serve Restaurant Roundtable agrees to work on reducing trans fats

A Roundtable of Australian Quick Serve Restaurant industry representatives agreed to a September timetable to draft plans to remove artificial trans fats from their products.

The Assistant Minister for Health and Ageing, Christopher Pyne, who convened the roundtable, said he was delighted that the Quick Serve Restaurant industry was willing to act on this important public health initiative.

?There is a scientific link between the consumption of transfats and the risk factors for heart disease,? Mr Pyne said. ?Transfats not only increase bad cholesterol in our blood, a key indicator for heart disease, they may also decrease good cholesterol.

?Unlike many other countries, Australians consume a low level of transfats, with only 0.6 per cent of their daily kilojoules coming from transfats. And the situation is similar in New Zealand, with 0.7 per cent of daily kilojoules coming from transfats. This is well below the World Health Organization recommendation to consume no more than 1 per cent of your daily kilojoules from transfats.

?However, we can reduce these intakes even further through continuing the good collaborative work that has already been done by the National Heart Foundation, the Dietitians Association of Australia, major food manufacturers and some of the Quick Serve Restaurant industry.

?It is important, when we reduce transfats in our food supply, that we do it in the context of a balanced diet. For example, we don?t wish to decrease transfats by returning to the use of saturated fats such as palm oil, tallow or lard.

?The Australia New Zealand Collaboration on Transfats, which consists of Food Standards Australia New Zealand, the National Heart Foundations of Australia and New Zealand, the Dietitians Association of Australia, the Australian Food and Grocery Council, the New Zealand Food and Grocery Council and the New Zealand Food Safety Authority, was formed in October 2006 with the important role of reducing damaging transfats in the food supply.

?The Quick Serve Restaurant industry will be working with the Australia New Zealand Collaboration on Transfats to reduce levels of transfats in the food supply.

?In addition to the Collaboration, Food Standards Australia New Zealand is conducting a formal scientific review of transfats in the food supply. They will be reporting back to the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council, which I chair, by May this year,? Mr Pyne said.

The roundtable was attended by the Baking Industry Association, Coffee Club, Domino’s Pizza, Eagle Boys Pizza, Hungry Jacks, KFC, Krispy Kreme, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Pizza Haven, La Porchetta, Oporto, Red Rooster, Michel?s Patisserie and Subway.

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