Friday, September 29, 2006

Big apple fat

Usually when you mention the word "trans" in New York City, you mean something completely different. But, right now, NYC's hottest "trans" is trans fat. Why? Because earlier this week, the New York City Health Department proposed a near ban on trans fat in NYC restaurants. As you already know, trans fat is found in fast food, cookies, cakes, and basically anything I think is good to eat.
"Trans fat causes heart disease. Like lead in paint, artificial trans fat in food is invisible and dangerous, and it can be replaced," New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said in a statement. (quote from Scientific American)
In the following quote from SFGate.com, by proceeding with a ban of one substance seen to have health concerns, this sets the precedent and opens the door to a laundry list of possibilites of future food bans.
There's also the issue of what should be banned. What about high fructose corn syrup? Sodium? Cases have been made that they're just as harmful as trans fats. Should we put a cap on the number of calories that people are allowed to order in a restaurant?
I always love when the government tries to legislate behavior. By making trans fat, in a sense, illegal, doesn't it then make it more attractive? This may seem silly, but I see drug dealers turning into trans fat dealers. They would hang out outside of NYC's swankiest (is that a word?) restaurants with one side of the raincoat with cheap Rolexes and the other side with illegal donuts to bring into restaurants. Sales of crack, heroin, and meth will fall off dramatically in favor of french fries.

The other thing I can't wait to see is "New York's Finest" food police. Can't you see the TV show right now? "Tonight at 8pm - Dr. A stars as Detective Emeril (BAM!) - In Cold Food Files." Bon Appetit, NYC. Pass the donuts!

21 comments:

D.P. said...

I guess Chicago going the same route . . . Of course, my 9th grade daughter came home talking of these things today. Who needs a newspaper when you have a high schooler.

Anonymous said...

Well Doc
I think (in the words of Martha Stewart) "it's a good thing!" and probably Dr M. Oz would agree with me.:)

Julie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Julie, RN said...

My son came home the other day complaining about the school only serving fat-free salad dressings. I say, if the kid is even EATING salads, let him put whatever he wants on there! Chili, perhaps. :-)

The Curmudgeon said...

Greetings from the Nanny State of Chicago, home of systemic corruption and the foie gras ban.

Certain things are undeniably true:

No matter what we eat, we'll die.

Many things we thought were good for us, turn out to be bad.

Many things we thought were bad for us turn out to be good. (We're not quite to the Nirvana of Woody Allen's Sleeper -- but, for example, a connection has recently been established between the explosion in childhood asthma cases and the over-clean homes which we have established for ourselves: Toddlers who eat dirt are building their immune systems up.

The surest way to keep food from harming is to not eat anything. Of course then you'll starve. But if you almost starve, maybe you'll extend your life....

No, Doc, please: Legislation moves too slowly to keep up with science. Food bans, however well intended, are at least silly and may be harmful.

joan said...

Hi new to this so hope doing it right, A few months ago there was a programme on tv (in the UK) trans fat looks horrible!! its in so many things like ready meals, although in the UK some shops have stopped using trans fats and now put it on packages to inform you I must admit, we tend to buy trans fatfree products! I got stents in situ!! so tend to steer clear of these foods now!ibvu

INAMINI said...

While transfat is bad, wouldm't it be great if they started to prescribe things that are good for you? Pets, PBS, books, flowers, the outdoors...
Sometimes I wish we could focus on the good, not just the bad.

Muddy said...

There is a local school system near me that banned kids from bringing cupcakes to celebrate their birthdays. It became known as the "cupcake controvery"...no joke.

her indoors said...

dont do drugs but if they took away all the goodies or should i say all the baddies! in food i might be one of those who would start looking for the fat dealers!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Dr. A. Everything I think is good is full of this stuff..I love making, baking and eating desserts...And donuts, God I could eat maybe 4 all by myself, if I had them here....I might have to find the trans fat dealings so I can keep baking.

What exactly is the point of all this? Yes, we should eat healthier but what really is healthy? Spinach? Oh thats right....It might kill us too.

Are they trying to make us live forever? Take away all the reasons for living and who cares if they are alive or not.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

pass the oreos please.

oh, and i am back in florida. want me to host a ba meeting?

Bee

Dream Mom said...

I think it's great that they are banning it. Actually, I wish they'd ban the high fructose corn syrup. You can't buy anything without it and it just makes you want to eat more of that item it's in.

I like all kinds of foods but I prefer to make them myself than buy something in a box (read makes her own cookies instead of buying them in the store:)

I am really missing the spinach though (I used to go through two bags a week.) I bought a Subway sandwich today and asked them why they didn't have the spinach and then I remembered. I used to have an issue with Subway because they wanted to charge me extra for putting spinach on my sandwich.

rZeta said...

The trans fat are so bad for the heart, yes, but is difficult that it could be replaced for the quantity of eatable things that have it. Just take a food label, take a look in the part of ingredients, and in the most cases you'll see that it have "hydroxygen vegetable oil" (trans fats).

ian said...

I recall an old Garfield cartoon, where he has once again been put on a diet and he says "I shall now endeavor to eat my lunch, consisting of three pieces of lettuce, lightly seasoned with ONE QUART OF MAYONNAISE!!"

On the flip side of the argument, though, why NOT allow transfats? Hell, put 'em in EVERYTHING. New Diet Coke...now with TRANSFATS! Guaranteed e coli-free TRANSFAT-brushed spinach, the new taste sensation!

Sooner or later the weak will perish, unable to cope with the huge infusions of transfat. And those of us who THRIVE on such meals, we will be the progenitors of the next step in human evolution! *insert mad scientist cackle here*

This is what happens when you drink coffee this late at night, folks. Stay off drugs, stay in school.

Ian

healthpsych said...

So, does this mean we can chew the fat on your blog, as long as it's not transfat?

Dr. A said...

Hey Empress Bee, I'd love you to host a BA meeting. E-mail me for more details...

David said...

Why not just ban Americans from all foreign restaurants; in fact, from all foreign countries.

Americans are the most hazardous danger to life throughout the world.

Please stay home. Your co-operation would be appreciated.

Thankyou.

psychgrad said...

I was a bit skeptical when I heard about this issue. It seems like a very thin line when certain foods that are not healthy for you become "illegal" to serve. Is heroin illegal because it's not healthy for you?

Should we make cigarettes, alcohol, ice cream, chocolate, any foods with bad cholesterol, etc. illegal? Just seems like a slippery slope. Maybe the focus should be on education as opposed to legislation.

M's said...

omg!!! I can't believe that ban on trans fat - I hadn't heard. Yes, a good idea (in theory) but how ridiculous is that!?!
If they can put a ban on certain types of food and/or ingredients... what does that indicate about how much control they have over us? What is next - no restuarant can serve desert or drinks that are sweet. Btw, did I mention you can't add that sugar to your coffee... it is illegal you know.
How about "banning" cigarettes (not just in restuarants)? Nah, obesity is much worse than cancer.

Biomed Tim said...

I too, think a ban would be ridiculous. What would you guys think about taxking it instead? That way people can make their own decisions on how much they value eating trans-fat.

Joshua Smith said...

I think this is the stupidest thing ever. I think it is taking the choice out of people who want to eat these foods. It is a choice but there is a great dicussion about it with my friends on www.medsocial.com