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Does a ban on trans fats improve public health: synthetic control evidence from Denmark

Rok Spruk and Mitja Kovac ()
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Mitja Kovac: University of Ljubljana

Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, 2020, vol. 156, issue 1, 1-32

Abstract: Abstract We examine the impact of the trans fat ban on a variety of public health outcomes. To this end, we consider a de facto trans fat ban that was introduced by Denmark in 2001. Using the synthetic control method, parallel trends between Denmark and countries in a control group in the years prior to the ban are used to construct a “synthetic Denmark” without any such trans fat ban. Our synthetic control estimates suggest the ban led to substantial improvements in public health. Following the ban, cardiovascular mortality dropped considerably, while the trends of adolescent and child obesity came to a halt and decreased significantly compared to the synthetic control group. Our findings provide new insights into the benefits for public health arising from the banning of trans fats.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1186/s41937-019-0048-0

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