Thursday, December 28, 2006

Why Does Universal Studios care more about you than Health Canada?

Well, maybe that's just blogger license to get you to read, but as of this Christmas Eve, Universal Studios Hollywood is trans-fat free.

Trans-fats, as covered in one of my prior posts, aren't very good for you. Trans fats have been shown to raise bad cholesterol, raise triglycerides, lower good cholesterol and make our blood stickier increasing the risk of blood clots. Trans fats have also been shown to increase the process of inflammation in our body which in turn has been implicated in heart disease and diabetes and may well also be involved in other disease processes.

Amazingly in Canada despite the wealth of knowledge on the risks of trans-fats, despite the June 2006 final report of Health Canada's trans-fat task force calling for a dramatic regulatory minimization of trans-fat in our food supply, it appears to this outsider at least, that Health Canada has spent the last 6 months apparently doing nothing to try to put their recommendations into action (no doubt much to the joy of the Canadian Restaurants and Food Services Association and the Food and Consumer Products of Canada Association - Merry Christmas Big Food, Love, Health Canada).

The thing is, we're talking about a product which without tremendous upheaval (Denmark has been trans-fat free since December 2003) can indeed be removed from the food supply. If applied to North America, according to the Center for Science in the Public interest, a trans-fat ban could save 11,000-30,000 lives per year along with $50 billion in annual health care costs.

I suppose given my experiences with Health Canada and Canada's Food Guide, I shouldn't be too surprised - remember, Health Canada didn't even bother to mention the words trans-fats in the draft of their upcoming new Food Guide.

Sometimes I wish I lived in Denmark.

Kudos to Universal Studios.