The recent addition of trans fat information to the Nutrition Facts labels on food products, combined with news media reports and activists warnings, have brought these fats to the forefront of public concern. In a national survey conducted in November 2005, 81 percent of a representative sample of U.S. consumers reported being aware of trans fats, and 54 percent indicated that they were trying to decrease their trans fat consumption (IFIC Foundation, 2006). Putting the role of trans fatty acids (TFAs) into perspective can be difficult, both because of the intensity of the rhetoric surrounding them and because of widely varying claims about the extent of the health risk they pose.
Executive Summary Substances that can replace some or all of the fat in food products have the potential to help consumers reduce their total fat consumption. Because fat replacers can improve both the taste and texture of lower-fat foods, they can help alleviate the sense of deprivation that can impede sticking with a reduced-fat, reduced-calorie dietary plan.