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Mission Accomplished: War on Trans Fat Over

The campaign to ban trans fats has cleaned up our blood.

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In 2006, New York became the first city to ban artery-clogging trans fats from restaurants. At the time, the restaurant industry cried foul, claiming the ban was overly burdensome.

“We don’t think that a municipal health agency has any business banning a product the Food and Drug Administration has already approved,” Dan Fleshler, a spokesman for the National Restaurant Association, told MSN at the time.

It was too late, however. Mayor Michael Bloomberg had already declared war, vowing to rid the city’s restaurants of fats that had been linked to heart disease. He calmed the nervous city, though, by promising that the steady supply of foods that New Yorkers love would continue. “Nobody wants to take away your french fries and hamburgers—I love those things, too,” he said.

Six years later, the efforts of cities and health officials are paying off. Unlike other food advice campaigns—eat eggs, no don’t eat eggs, now cut your carbs, but not too much—this one has measurable results.

Between 2000 and 2009, the level of trans fats in the blood of white Americans decreased by 58%, according to researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who carried out the study.

“The 58 percent decline shows substantial progress that should help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in adults,” said the CDC’s Christopher Portier, PhD, on the agency’s website.

While the study examined only white Americans, the CDC is currently analyzing the results from other race and ethnic groups.

Trans fats are still lurking in your supermarket, but the CDC recommends avoiding those foods. You can, however, enjoy your trans fat free hamburger and fries in NYC, courtesy of Mayor Bloomberg.

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