New Yorkers are healthier today thanks to the city's groundbreaking ban on trans fats in restaurant food, according to a new report. Researchers from the city's health department found that diners consumed an average 2.4 fewer grams of trans fat per lunch after the 2008 ban took effect, reports the Los Angeles Times. Adding just 4.5 grams of the fats, which are found in hydrogenated vegetable oils, to the average daily diet raises the risk of coronary heart disease by 23% and the NYC ban barred restaurants from serving dishes that contain more than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.
Researchers found that the benefits were equal in rich and working-class neighborhoods, and the proportion of meals served with zero trans fats nearly doubled to 59%. The study shows that the public should be skeptical when the food industry opposes changes to improve public health, says the director of Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. "They said it would narrow the range of consumer products; that didn't happen," he says. "They said it would affect the taste, and that didn't happen. They said there would be no benefit, and that didn't happen."