Fred A. Kummerow, Crusader Against Trans Fats, Dies At 102

Biochemist Fred A. Kummerow, who led a 50-year-long fight for a federal government ban on the use of trans fats, died on Wednesday, May 31. He passed away at his home Urbana, Illinois, at the age of 102.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, partially hydrogenated oils are a big source of artificial trans fats found in processed foods such as commercial baked goods and fried food. After a lawsuit Kummerow filed against the agency in 2013, the FDA deemed trans fats unsafe, The New York Times reported. The ban was officially announced in 2015, and will go into effect in 2018.

Kummerow was one of the first scientists to suggest a relationship between processed food and heart disease. In a study conducted in the 1950s, he analyzed the diseased arteries of people who died of heart attacks and found that they were filled with trans fats.

Why are trans fats so bad for you? Read Five Things You Didn't Know About Trans Fats.