Lifestyle & Belief

New York's trans-fat ban working: study


A new study conducted by the CDC shows that the push by public health officials to limit the use of trans fats has paid off with a 58 percent decrease of the unhealthy fat in Americans' bloodstreams. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)


Mario Tama

New York City has become a little more heart healthy thanks to its ban on trans-fats. 

In 2008, a ban went into effect that prohibited all restaurants in New York City from serving food prepared with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil or dishes that contain more than 0.5 gram of trans fat per serving. 

A new study released Monday from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene found that that diners consumed 2.4 fewer grams of trans-fat per lunch after the ban went into effect, according to the LA Times. The largest reduction of trans fat purchases were seen at hamburger chains, followed by Mexican food chains and fried chicken restaurants, according to US News and World Report.

The authors of the study noted, "Given that one-third of calories in the United States comes from food prepared away from home, this suggests a remarkable achievement in potential cardiovascular risk reduction through food policy."

Alice Lichtenstein, a nutrition science researcher from Tufts University in Boston, told Reuters Health that this marks a "small step forward," adding, "This is just trans-fat. It doesn't have any effect on calories. It doesn't mean that you can eat as much of it as you want."

Christine Curtis, director of nutrition strategy at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, told US News and World Report that the findings mark a potentially significant gain for heart health because, "It's been estimated that 40 calories from trans-fats per day increases the risk of coronary heart disease by 23 percent." Curtis noted that on average, New York City diners saw a decline in trans-fats of about 21 calories per purchase. 

More from GlobalPost: Study: Trans fats in Americans decreased 58% in last decade