WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) – According to the Pew Research Center, a majority of Americans are against a federal ban on trans fats.

On Thursday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it would finish off trans fats for good by phasing them out of all foods nationwide.

A reported 52 percent of Americans told those involved with the study that they were against the measure, while 44 percent were in favor. The remaining 4 percent said they were unsure of their thoughts on the matter, a release on the study’s findings indicated.

Researchers noted differences in support for the measure between political parties as well, with more Republicans opposing the ban than Democrats – but not by a significant amount, as those involved with the study originally anticipated.

The team also found that, regardless of how participants identified themselves politically, more tended to disagree with the idea of the ban than applaud it.

“Republicans oppose prohibiting restaurants from using trans fats by a 60 percent to 35 percent margin, and that margin rises to 74 percent vs. 23 percent among Republicans and Republican leaners who agree with the Tea Party,” the release stated. “[Meanwhile], Democrats are largely divided on the question: 51 percent favor and 45 percent oppose prohibiting trans fats in restaurants. Even among liberal Democrats just 47 percent favor the idea while 50 percent are opposed.”

Some rumblings of a shift began when the FDA decided in 2005 that food labels should start listing grams of trans fat per serving. McDonald’s, KFC and other restaurant companies had quietly been experimenting with substitute frying oils and shortening for years, trying to see if they could make the switch without consumers noticing a change in taste.

The measure might lessen issues plaguing overweight Americans of all ages by creating healthier meal options, in particular for children. At present, U.S. teens seeking weight-loss surgery have a startling number of health problems that used to be seen only in adults, according to a major government-funded study.

Half the teens had at least four major illnesses linked with their excess weight. Three out of four had cholesterol problems; almost half had high blood pressure or joint pain; and many had diseased livers or kidneys.

These kids weighed three times more than what is considered healthy, they weren’t just teens “who want to fit into that cheerleading outfit better,” said Dr. Thomas Inge, the study’s lead researcher and a surgeon at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Pew conducted the survey – which polled 996 randomly selected American adults throughout the nation – between Oct. 30 and Nov. 6.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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