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We examined the impact of regulatory action to reduce levels of artificial trans-fatty acids (TFAs) in food. We searched Medline, Embase, ISI Web of Knowledge, and EconLit (January 1980 to December 2012) for studies related to government regulation of food- or diet-related health behaviors from which we extracted the subsample of legislative initiatives to reduce artificial TFAs in food. We screened 38 162 articles and identified 14 studies that examined artificial TFA controls limiting permitted levels or mandating labeling. These measures achieved good compliance, with evidence of appropriate reformulation. Regulations grounded on maximum limits and mandated labeling can lead to reductions in actual and reported TFAs in food and appear to encourage food producers to reformulate their products.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Public Health

Publication Date





e32 - e42


Databases, Bibliographic, Dietary Fats, Food Additives, Food Labeling, Global Health, Government Regulation, Humans, Legislation, Food, Trans Fatty Acids