Intake of trans-fatty acids (TFA), especially industrially produced TFA (I-TFA), has been associated with the risk of CHD through influence on serum lipid levels. Other causal pathways remain less investigated. In the present cross-sectional study of middle-aged men representing a broad range of BMI, the association between intake of TFA, I-TFA and ruminant TFA (R-TFA) and obesity-associated risk markers of CHD was assessed. The study comprised 393 Danish men (median age 49 years) with a median BMI of 28·4 kg/m2. Intake of TFA was estimated based on 7 d dietary records, whereas outcomes of interest (waist circumference, sagittal abdominal diameter, percentage of truncal fat, C-reactive protein, IL-6, blood lipids, blood pressure, HbA1c and insulin sensitivity index) were obtained through clinical examination. The associations were assessed by linear regression analysis. The median intake of total TFA among the 393 men was 1·3 g/d, covering a daily I-TFA intake of 0·4 g (10–90th percentile 0·0–1·0) and R-TFA intake of 0·9 g (10–90th percentile 0·4–1·8). Intake of these amounts of TFA showed no significant associations with abdominal fatness, inflammatory markers, blood lipids, blood pressure and insulin homeostasis. Among middle-aged men with a generally low intake of TFA, neither I-TFA nor R-TFA was significantly related to obesity-associated risk markers of CHD. The decreased average intake of I-TFA in Denmark since 1995 is suggested to effectively prevent occurrence of the adverse metabolic changes and health consequences, which have formerly been observed in relation to, especially, I-TFA intake.