NY Trans Fat Ban Liked to Lower Rates of Strokes, Heart Attacks

A new study suggests that the state of New York’s trans-fat ban reduced the number of strokes and heart attacks in the counties that adopted it by more than 6 percent. Researchers say the drop is significant, and it may signal the ban is effective.

Three years ago, just several counties said no to the unhealthy fats. In 2018, New York plans to go for a statewide ban. The recent study suggests that not only the death rates are lower, but the cases of non-fatal strokes and heart attacks are fewer now, too.

Trans fats, also known as partially hydrogenated oils on food labels, are artificially made fats which give texture and prolong the shelf life of prepackaged foods and some fast food items. Experts have warned for years that the industrial process that produces them can clog human arteries and boost the heart disease risk.

New York was the first to start banning the fats in food courts and restaurants. In July 2007, New York City banned the fats in all eateries.

A group of researchers at Yale University wanted to learn whether the ban had any effect ten years later. They compared the health data of people living in counties that had the ban with that of the people not affected by the ban.

The team found that the number of hospital admissions tied to stroke and myocardial infarction aka heart attacks dropped 6.2 percent. Study authors believe that a nationwide ban would benefit millions of people with a risk of having a stroke or heart attack.

The Food and Drug Administration agrees that partially hydrogenated oils are no longer safe to eat. So, starting 2018, the food industry will need a special permission to include them in their products.

Trans fats are liquid oils that become solid through a process dubbed hydrogenization. After the process, they gain the consistency of lard or butter, but they are considerably cheaper. However, countless studies showed these processed oils are very unhealthy, even unhealthier than saturated fats.

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