I haven't made up my mind yet on trans fat. The current hysteria about it leaves me skeptical. First New York City passed a ban on trans fats in restaurants, and now other cities are following suit. I believe it when someone says "This is a good idea" (Keith-Thomas Ayoob, associate professor in the department of pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine). But I don't believe it when people say "The trans-fat ban will save thousands of lives over the next decade" (Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, D.C.) That's hyperbole, I'm not buying it. How does something that we've been consuming for decades suddenly become a killer substance? The late expert nutritionist David Kritchevsky called the trans fat ban in NY the "panic du jour."
Nutrittionists state that trans fats raise "bad" LDL cholesterol and lower "good" HDL cholesterol, which contributes to heart disease. The latest news from the Harvard School of Public Health is that trans fats could also be causing fertility problems:
"Fats hidden in thousands of foods can harm a woman’s chance of having a baby, scientists said yesterday. They can increase the risk of fertility problems by 70 per cent or more. Eating as little as one doughnut or a portion of chips a day can have a damaging effect. The scientists behind the study advised women who want to have a baby to avoid the fats, known as trans fats."
"Infertility is also a growing problem, with one in six couples having problems conceiving. In the study, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston looked at 18,500 women trying to conceive and found 438 cases of ovulatory problems."
Call me anti-science, but I just don't believe these folks, and I'm not impressed that it's coming from Harvard. Infertility is clearly a growing problem, but among the folks I know, it's because nowadays so many women wait until their mid-30's and 40's to try to conceive. I haven't seen fertility problems in teens or women in their 20's.
There's an awful lot of "the sky is falling" going on these days, for the oddest things.