NYC’s trans-fat ban has actually started saving lives


NYC’s trans-fat ban has actually started saving lives
By Danika Fears April 12, 2017 | 4:25pm | Updated
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It looks as if Nanny Bloom­berg was right all along.

New York City’s ban on trans fats appears to be working out just as the former mayor had hoped, with research suggesting that people are healthier in places that forbid the heart-clogging oils.

Hospitals in New York counties with trans-fat bans saw a 6 percent drop in heart attacks and strokes three years after the laws went into effect, as compared with areas without restrictions, according to a new report in JAMA Cardiology.

That means there were 43 fewer heart attacks and strokes per 100,000 people, according to researcher Dr. Eric Brandt, a Yale University cardiology fellow.

Under the Bloomberg administration, the Big Apple in 2006 banned trans fats in restaurants, which often used the grease for french fries and other dishes.

The city’s restrictions applied to food purchased outside of stores, such as at restaurants, street vendors and bakeries.

The ban was originally scoffed at by some who feared the flavor of some foods might be ruined.

But, unlike Mike Bloomberg’s attempted crackdown on sugary drinks, the trans-fat ban was soon accepted by the public. Years later, few complain about it. In 2015 the FDA announced it would spread the trans-fat prohibition nationwide, starting in 2018.

Brandt said this is the first study to confirm public health has been improved by the ban.

“New York City was progressive and they enacted restrictions on trans fats, but no one looked to see if this made measurable changes to outcomes,” he said.

“There has been a lot of looking into whether trans fats are harmful. Here we find on a population level that when we restrict them, it benefits society by reducing heart attacks and strokes.”

Researchers conducting the study compared data on people hospitalized between 2002 and 2013 for heart attacks or strokes in counties that did restrict trans fats with data for counties that did not.

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