Trans fats have been linked to several adverse health outcomes, such as insulin resistance, inflammation, and heart disease.

This study found that higher trans fat consumption is also associated with greater aggression.

Researchers analyzed dietary data collected from 945 adults at the start of the study to see how trans fat consumption affected behaviors that had a negative impact on others, including aggression, impatience, irritability.

At the start of the study, higher intake of trans fatty acids was associated with greater aggression. Prospective analysis of data during follow-up found that intake of trans fat was a stronger predictor of aggression and irritability than other known predictors of aggression.

The link between trans fat consumption and aggression was found in both men and women, all age groups, and all racial/ethnic groups studied.

Because this study was observational it cannot prove that trans fat consumption caused aggressive behavior. But if future research proves causality, it would add to the recommendations to avoid eating trans fat or “including them in foods provided at institutions like schools and prisons, since the detrimental effects of trans fats may extend beyond the person who consumes them to affect others,” says lead author Beatrice Golomb, M.D. Ph.D., from the University of California San Diego Department of Medicine.