Health experts have demanded the elimination of butter and man-made fats from the British diet to save thousands of lives.

Top heart surgeon Shyam Kolvekar, of University College London Hospital, claimed up to 3,500 deaths could be prevented every year through a ban on butter and other foods high in saturated fat.

“This would save thousands of lives each year and help to protect [consumers] from cardiovascular disease, the UK’s biggest killer,” he said.

The call came after the UK Faculty of Public Health – which represents 3,300 NHS doctors and health experts – demanded the government enforce a ban on artificial trans-fats commonly found in cakes, pies, pastries and fast-food products.

The faculty’s president, Professor Alan Maryon-Davis, told The Guardian that although trans fats were not as well-known as saturated fats, their impact on health was “much more” damaging.

“They are very bad for the heart, play a key role in the UK’s very high levels of heart disease and contribute to the large number of the excess coronary deaths we have in this country,” he said.

“Foods can be made perfectly well without trans fats.”

Read more
Why does the FSA want to cut satfats? (analysis; 12 December 2009)
FSA’s satfat demands pose a calorie-cutting conundrum (8 August 2009)