Promising research from Yale University shows reduction in the incidences of strokes and heart attacks in areas where Trans-Fats are restricted in food items.
JAMA Cardiology Department of Yale University conducted a study in 2017 comparing the reports of hospitalization due to heart attacks and strokes in areas with restrictions on Trans-Fats versus areas where Trans-Fats are not restricted in food items. Trans-fatty acids are present in fried foods and food items where trans-fats are used in preparation of food items like potato chips, crackers, and even some baked goods. Trace amounts of these Trans fats have been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
In the past few years, areas within the United States such as New York City implemented policies for the restriction on the use of trans-fats in food items. The study in Yale University conducted by Dr Eric Brandt and his colleagues studied the after effects of the restriction in Trans-fats by comparing areas in New York City with and without the restrictions. The study took in a sample of hospital admissions for strokes and heart attacks from areas with and without the trans-fat restrictions. The data was obtained from the Department of Health and Census for the time period – 2002 to 2013. The study showed promising observations on people living in areas with the restrictions. The areas with restriction showed much fewer hospitalisations for strokes and heart attacks within 3 years of the enactment of the ban. “It is a pretty substantial decline,” said Dr. Eric Brandt citing the decline for the combined conditions being as high as 6.2%. The study proves the efficacy of well thought out public policies and its effects on public health. The study gives the hope for widespread benefits world-wide if such policies get enacted in other countries as well including the United States wherein the FDA is set to enact the complete country-wide restriction on Trans-fats in 2018.
“Even though some companies have reduced the amount of Trans-fat in food, current FDA labeling guidelines allow up to 0.49 grams of Trans fat per serving to be labeled as 0 grams, leaving consumers to scour labels for hidden trans-fats.
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