Study: Trans fat ban in New York reduced heart attack, stroke rate

Credit: Justin Sullivan

Researchers who examined if there were any health benefits stemming from New York's controversial trans fat ban have published their results.

The trans fat ban, which banned trans fatty acids at restaurants and other public eateries beginning in 2007 in New York City, and which was adopted by some counties in the subsequent years, was met with a mix of support and skepticism. While health proponents were supportive of the measure to eliminate the artery-clogging fats from menus, others decried the "nanny state" mentality of the legislation. Not all counties in New York adopted the trans fat ban.

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The study, conducted by a group of university researchers and published in JAMA Cardiology, found "an additional 6.2 percent decline in hospital admissions for myocardial infarction (heart attack) and stroke among populations living in counties with versus without trans-fatty acid restrictions." The study also found that the decline in the heart attack and stroke rate "reached statistical significance 3 or more years after restrictions were implemented."

The study's lead author, Dr. Eric J. Brandt, told the New York Times that the significant reduction in heart attack and strokes suggests that the trans fat ban is a "well-planned and well-executed public policy."

A national ban on trans fats is set to begin in 2018.

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