News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


New York City's ban on trans fats leaves good taste

New York City's ban on artificial trans fats at restaurants this week was the action of heroes or the folly of fools.

The outcome of course, depends on several factors, one of which is a philosophy that government has no right to intrude into what people eat.

One segment, like smokers, resents the government attempting to stop them from self-destruction.

Then there are the children, who, if they don't change their eating and living habits, won't have the life span of their great-grandparents.

But the ban isn't for children only. Any public relations firm wanting world attention stages its show in the Big Apple. Being the first city to take such action puts the fight against artificial trans fats on center stage and calls public attention to their harmful effects on people of all ages.

Most people want to live longer. Taking artificial trans fats out of food products will give arteries a better chance of staying unclogged and the body the opportunity to build good cholesterol.

Research points to trans fat increasing weight and tummy fat even when the caloric intake is similar. A six-year experiment showed that monkeys fed a trans-fat diet gained 7.2 percent but monkeys on a mono-unsaturated fat diet gained only 1.8 percent.

Trans fats will still be available in pre-packaged foods, but what New York did may hasten the time when the federal government bans the stuff completely, which will contribute to a healthier lifestyle.

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