Trans Fat Consumption Linked to Aggressive Behavior

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine showed that consumption of dietary trans fats is significantly associated with irritability and aggressive behavior. Although a number of previous studies have linked trans fat consumption to averse health outcomes including cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and certain cancers, this study was the first to tie it to specific, undesirable human behaviors.

The study surveyed 945 adult men and women, and included dietary and behavioral assessments. Results showed that dietary consumption of trans fatty acids was more strongly associated with aggression than other, more common predictive factors including gender, age, alcohol use, smoking and education. The relationship between trans fat consumption and aggression held true across all gender, age, ethnicity and lifespan variables.

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Although there has been a push to eliminate them from many processed and fast foods over the past few years (or at least make their presence more obvious on nutrition labels), trans fats are still commonly found in margarine, peanut butter, and many processed/packaged snack foods including cookies, crackers, and cake mixes. Consuming a diet rich in whole foods, and minimizing processed food intake, is probably the easiest way to steer clear these health-compromising fats.

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