Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
30 Oct

Trans Fat in NYC, Foie Gras in Chicago

It’s Prohibition all over again. What do you all think about major cities banning certain fattening foods? Is this blatantly unconstitutional, or simply in the interest of public health? In recent months Chicago has attempted to ban foie gras (French for greasy grease) and New York has now rumbled to restaurants about frying foods in trans fat oils. Even Killing Folks Covertly (KFC) is hopping in the anti-trans fryer.

While I don’t know that foie gras tops most people’s dietary vice lists, food manufacturers’ stubborn use of trans fat is utterly irresponsible and flagrantly unethical. (Yes, I said it.)

But here’s the real question: Just like the too-skinny models (perhaps a redundancy) banned in Spain, is banning trans fat in restaurants the right step? Might we think about going to the source by sending a message to Congressional lobbyists working for Big Agra instead?

Something good from New Jersey.

Discuss, Apples.

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You want comments? We got comments:

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  1. People need to take responsibility for their own health, Most of the actions that have been taken by government in the name of “public health” are neutral at best and usually not terribly cost effective.

    I encourage people not to eat trans-fats but I happen to think that I shouldn’t have the right either as an individual or via the state to force them not to.

    The term “public health” is a very odd concept in any case. Health is not a communal thing. I can be healthy, you can be healthy and that guy over there can be dying of congestive heart failure, but we don’t have health or lack thereof as a group.

    Trying to pass a law to make people thin and healthy is never going to work.

    Mark, your site does more to promote healthy than any government regulation every could. You do it by reaching out to individuals and giving them the information that they need. For that I am very grateful (and thinner!)

    PeterB

    PeterB wrote on October 2nd, 2010
  2. Bloody hell! How did I end up posting on one of the first posts.

    D’oh!

    PeterB wrote on October 2nd, 2010
  3. I agree that baning something like this is not right. It would be a good thing but the government does not know whats healthy for us. They think saturated fat will kill us so is that next? Banning coconut oil?

    Primal Toad wrote on June 21st, 2011
  4. Foie gras (fat liver) is being banned because of concerns that the unnatural force feeding required to make foie gras is cruel to the birds, not because of any public health concerns.

    Read the reason for the ban before complaining that it was done for public health. The issue for debate on foie gras is animal rights, not dietary rights.

    KC wrote on October 3rd, 2011
  5. If someone tried to force me to go on this diet, I would have told them to bugger off.

    Banning things only creates a black market and dependency on gov’t. Haven’t you learned from your journey that the gov’t is very often wrong and corrupt?

    Amy wrote on May 17th, 2012
  6. Regardless of whether the law was passed for public health or animal rights, the issue of government subsidies is the big issue. Whether its trans fats or a 20 oz. soda,local governments are trying to bypass congress (and the lobbyists that influence it) by enacting local law. Yes, it is big brother telling us what is best, but until lobbyists have a diminished presence in Washington, it is the lesser of two evils. Keep up the good work Mark.

    Colin wrote on October 3rd, 2012
  7. I know I’m really late replying to this one, but it touched a nerve. This is a question of consitutional rights. The government has no business passing laws for ‘to protect us from ourselves’ They are overstepping their bounds. If we want to send a message as a capitalist society, we send it as consumers and dont purchase the offending products, driving them to either change or go out of business.

    Amy B wrote on January 17th, 2013
  8. Amy B wrote:

    “I know I’m really late replying to this one, but it touched a nerve. This is a question of consitutional rights. The government has no business passing laws for ‘to protect us from ourselves’ They are overstepping their bounds. If we want to send a message as a capitalist society, we send it as consumers and dont purchase the offending products, driving them to either change or go out of business.”

    Amy, this happens all the time. Government is always trying to protect us from ourselves. Seatbelt laws, motorcycle helmets, et al., are just a couple of examples. And until we unseat and replace our politicians with some that listen and stop caving in to the PACS (which would require an overhaul in our campaigning process), its not likely to change:(

    As a retired LEO, I can attest to the mantra that these laws routinely stated to be about “saving lives”, with an underlying theme of “saving money.”

    Health care cost are routinely cited as the impetus for most of these ridiculous laws and ordinances.

    And while I actually understand the premise of reducing healthcare cost, and will agree that it makes sense “in theory”, the unfortunate reality is, in practice it doesn’t work.

    Regardless of how much we cut healthcare care costs overall with such government intervention, the insurance companies routinely fail to reduce premiums “across the board.”

    So penalizing the private business owner, or the private citizen, does nothing to promote the “greater good” if you will, for the populace as a whole!

    All that comes from these reduced costs, are higher profits for the insurance companies, instead of the touted lower cost for the consumer.

    PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY however, can make a “real”, tangible difference for the individual!!

    One can in fact save money individually by maintaining their health, especially into their older years.

    At 56 years young, I’ve lost over 50# and am in great health overall, thanks to the Paleo lifestyle, and some crossfit training.
    My wife has started to join me (albeit slowly) on the Paleo journey and is seeing better health as a result.

    By taking PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for our health, my wife and I just did an insurance physical, and should now qualify for a considerable present and long term cost savings on our life and health insurance. :)

    We didn’t need a damned law to force us to get healthy!!
    A longer healthier life together, along with the ability to reduce our healthcare cost were enough motivation.

    Personal responsibility, not government mandates are the answer.

    Gordon wrote on May 25th, 2013

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