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F.ood & H.ealth : L.aws & P.olitics Last Updated: Nov 16th, 2006 - 16:03:46


AHA opposes trans fat ban
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Nov 16, 2006, 16:00

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In a written testimony obtained by the New York Post, the American Heart Association (AHA) opposed a proposed ban on use of trans fat in eateries in New York City, Newstargets reported.

Trans fat is worse than saturated fat as a risk factor for development of heart disease. According to Harvard experts, trans fat has no value other than serving as an energy source, which raises bad cholesterol and reduce the good cholesterol, killing up to 100,000 Americans a year. Recent studies have indicated that trans fat may also be a risk factor for diabetes.

"The American Heart Association is concerned that the ban of trans fat in restaurants in its current form may not be the best course of proposed action," the AHA was cited as saying.

The AHA is concerned that the ban does not give the restaurants enough time to find alternative fat, which would promote them to use saturated fats/oils such as palm oil and coconut oil, according to Newstarget.com.

Saturated oil or fat can raise bad cholesterol just like trans fat does, but no reports have said it reduces good cholesterol, indicating that saturated oil may be friendlier than trans fat.

In response, New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden was cited as saying healthier alternative oils would be available.

According to news reports, many medical groups including the American College of Cardiology, the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, the American Medical Association, the American Society of Hypertension, and others supported the ban proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, which requires most New York eateries to replace trans fat with a healthier fat by next July.

Consumer Health Advocate Mike Adams, affiliated with newstarget.com, was cited as saying that ""It really makes you wonder whether the AHA has the best interests of the public in mind, or if it is favoring the interests of food corporations that pay the AHA money to license its logo."

The AHA said it favors a progressive approach that allows restaurants more time to find suitable cooking oils to replace trans fat, newstarget.com reported.




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