Wednesday, September 27, 2006
posted by Sydney on 9/27/2006 02:24:00 PM 10 comments
Marginal? The Nurses' Health Study found, for instance, that increasing trans fatty acid intake by 2% of total calories doubled the risk of MI! That's equivalent to a 9-11 every year, just from one teaspoonful a day of trans fats per person. Even if the data are optimistic, it's still hundreds of lives saved a year in NYC.
By 3:09 PM, at
By "cost" I was referring to the loss of the freedom to choose.
Sadly, consumers are not hearing about the actual evidence, only that from activists. Trans fat-containing shortening has been used for nearly a century in both home baking and cooking and by the food industry. As David Klurfeld, chairman of the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Wayne State University, editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition noted in a special series of articles in Nutrition News Focus examining the evidence on trans fats, any association between trans fats and health problems are weak. The Nurses Health Study of 90,000 nurses over 20 years, he exampled, has failed to find a link between trans fats or any other dietary fats and heart disease. He concluded: "The recommendation that any amount is unhealthy is not justified by strong evidence."
By 10:09 PM, at
I'm with Sydney on this one, people should have the right to choose. I hate when policy is dicated by soft numbers. If anything I've learned in reading medical studies over the years "doubling the risk of..." means little without explaining exactly how many people are ACTUALLY affected. 250 people is nothing compared to cancer, heart attacks, auto accidents, etc deaths. The occasional recipe is going to call for shortening or margerine. And for my mom's flaky warm biscuits that means that once a month or two I'm going to be having a teaspoon of margarine.
By 9:51 AM, at
Well Comrade - of course the State knows what is best for you. We will be paying for your health care after 65 so we will dictate what you will eat. Next - forced public weighing prior to entering a restaurant.
By 2:48 PM, at
Rational Thinking Fairy,
By 3:34 PM, at
Re. freedom to choose, I consider banning trans fats in restaurants to be like requiring the dishes be sterilized. It's hard to tell the difference without a laboratory, most people don't care, and those who do care can trivially restore their lost liberty by carrying a personal supply of trans fats.
By 5:21 PM, at
Rational thinking fairy, you said "Moreover, if it turns out to have been a silly crusade, the epidemiological data will give scientific proof in a few years."
By 10:47 AM, at
Looking at the New York proposed trans fat ban alongside Chicago's ban on foie gras, we see how big brother is encroaching on our individual freedoms.
Life is about choice, about risk, about the right to take risk. If you want to take a look at things we sacrifice x number of lives for each year let's look at some numbers. Like how many people DIE each year from childbirth 1/2 million world wide, almost 400 in the united states in 2000, a fairly average year: http://mchb.hrsa.gov/chusa03/pages/status.htm, http://www.safemotherhood.org/facts_and_figures/maternal_mortality.htm, see also: http://www.unfpa.org/swp/2005/presskit/factsheets/facts_rh.htm. I mean if we limited risk 100% women would never have children because it increases their risks for a number of illnesses. From a health standpoint, women are better off not having kids, you weight less on average, get more sleep, live longer, etc. Especially not married. You could save half a million lives EVERY year, 50 million health related problems, and overall a quarter of the female population would have an improvement in their health. Yet, I've never spoken to one mom who (although you might catch them on a sleepless week when everyone in the house has the flu and they haven't slept in 3 days) would ever willingly not have kids simply to reduce their risk. But let's look at the big numbers: http://www.drugwarfacts.org/causes.htm. You want to advocate everyone give up: tobacco? poor diet? alcohol? toxic agents? how about we just don't drive any more? save over 26,000 deaths a year right? or look...adverse reaction to prescription drugs. We could just not have doctors prescribe drugs any more. I think that this is the point Sydney is making. That sometimes it's not just about controlling choices, it's about people being free to make them. We can't dictate others lives to them. We can try, but we rarely suceed. Every year thousands of women give up an average of 5 years off their life expentancy to do one thing: marry. Yet you don't see people lining up to stop them.
By 12:46 PM, at