Microwave popcorn

New York’s Trans Fat Ban Reduced Heart Attacks and Strokes

Banning trans-fatty acids had a measurable impact on public health in the state of New York, according to a new study recently highlighted by Popular Science. A review of New York State Department of Public Health data from 2002 to 2013, published in the JAMA Cardiology, finds that there were 6.2 percent fewer hospital visits related to heart attacks and strokes in counties that banned foods that contained trans-fatty acids (trans fats) compared to counties that didn’t have a ban in place.

In 2007, New York City, which has five counties, became the first U.S. metro area to ban trans fats in restaurants, bakeries, and other eateries. Six other counties in New York state followed suit over the subsequent five years. Trans fats in foods like Twinkies, Girl Scout Cookies, coffee creamers, and microwave popcorn typically come from partially hydrogenated oils, which have been found to increase the risk of stroke, heart disease, and more. The bans did not apply to packaged food, so people in those 11 counties likely still had some trans fats in their diets, but nonetheless were eating…