Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Chalk one up for the nanny state
I think you're going to be stuck with the abstract only but that's okay. Here's all you need to know. From 1988 to 2010, data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), show that the average level of "bad cholesterol" (Low Density Lipoprotein, LDL-C ) in U.S. adults declined from 129 (95% CI, 127-130) mg/dL to 116 (95% CI, 114-117) mg/dL (P <.001 for linear trend).
First of all, I should point out that NHANES is a socialist government plot to obtain information about the health of the American people, presumably so they can nefariously use it to find ways of making us healthier.
The well-known liberal bias of reality is fully on display here as well. The question is, why did this happen? It's not just because more people are taking statins - the trend was also observed in people who are not. It's obviously not because people are exercising more and losing weight, or generally eating a better diet, because, well, they aren't. Au contraire.
But what did happen, and what appears to be the only plausible explanation (not proved, of course, just a sensible conclusion) is that this results from the purging of trans fats from the American diet. This happened partly because of public information campaigns in conjunction with requirements for nutritional labeling; and partly because of local governments imposing regulations on fast food restaurants; and in general because CDC and USDA put out so much information about the evils of trans fats that food manufacturers started to brag about taking it out of their products. Check out the potato chip aisle if you haven't already noticed that.
This doesn't just make you healthier, even if you're a Republican. It saves you money on your health insurance and your taxes, because you aren't paying for as many heart attacks and strokes. I remember when regulations on fast food restaurants were happening getting into fights with commenters here (I used to have more of them, including trolls; those were the days) who thought they were being ruthlessly deprived of their personal freedom to eat french fries cooked in trans fats. They seemed unimpressed by the argument that they wouldn't be able to tell the difference but would live longer. Well suck on this, pal: you weren't able to tell the difference, and you're alive.