Surprised? NYC trans fat ban really did keep people out of the hospital

❝ In 2006, New York City passed a law banning artificial trans fats, also known as partially hydrogenated fats, in all restaurant foods. The law was first applied to fried foods — but not fried bread products like donuts — before taking effect for all restaurant foods in July 2008. A study released on Wednesday in the Journal of American Medical Association Cardiology found that the law, criticized by some as evidence of a “nanny state”, actually lead to a six percent decline in hospitalizations and strokes

❝ It’s been known since the 1950s that eating a lot of saturated fats is associated with heart attacks and poor cardiovascular health. Saturated fats are a kind of fat found primarily in animal products like lard and butter…and tend to be solid at room temperature. They get their name because, while all fats are made of long chains of carbon atoms, the carbon molecules that make up saturated fats share no double bonds—instead, they are “saturated” with hydrogen molecules…

Unsaturated fats, which tend to be liquid at room temperature, share double bonds between their carbon molecules and are often, but not exclusively, found in vegetables oils. Monounsaturated oils — like corn, peanut, and soy oil — have just one double carbon bond. Polyunsaturated fats (the so called ‘healthy fats’ like the omega-3 fats found in salmon or olive oil) have many double carbon bonds.

❝ The problem is that while unsaturated fats are healthier, they’re also tougher to use. They aren’t as versatile…And saturated fats, apart from being artery cloggers, also tend to go rancid…In the 1950s, researchers realized they could substitute animal fats with vegetable oils by using a hydrogen reaction to turn an unsaturated fat into a partially hydrogenated fat—one with many of the same properties as a saturated fat, but with less, well, saturated fat. Voila, they made margarine.

❝ Researchers didn’t invent trans fats—not exactly. Trans fats are naturally present in meat, but only in minuscule amounts. By finding a process to turn unsaturated fats into partially saturated fats, however, scientists set the stage for people to consume a lot of trans fats all at once for the first time…

❝ Artificial trans fats, as it turns out, are actually worse for humans than saturated fats. Not only do they raise our LDL (or “bad cholesterol”) just like saturated fats do, but unlike saturated fats, they also lower the HDL (“good cholesterol”), increasing the risk of heart disease. Trans fat consumption is also associated with development of diabetes and dementia.

❝ The JAMA study, which analyzed data from the New York State Department of Public Health from 2002-2013 and compared rates of hospitalization between the 11 New York State counties (five of which comprise New York City) which banned trans fat between 2007 and 2011, suggests that the research is right. Trans fats can be deadly.

Given the track record for our Federal Government in general and Congress in specific, we can expect them to climb on board with this science in, say, 8 or 10 years. Or more.

Even electing a reasonably sane government populated with a fair number of folks who comprehend as much science as a 6th grader – after we shove the Trumpkins and neo-cons out to pasture – it will take a few years just to undo the stupidity put in place during the reign of populist idiocracy.

School bans parents at school sports without criminal record check

A school has banned parents from watching their children take part in sports events – unless they pass a criminal records check. Parents have been banned from watching their children compete at sports unless they have been vetted by police.

The Isambard Community School in Swindon, Wilts., insists all parents must clear a Criminal Records Bureau check to weed out potential paedophiles.

Neil Park, 54, was furious when he was turned away from watching his son George, 12, play rugby.

The father-of-five said: “I was turned away from the school because I had not been CRB checked.

“I couldn’t believe it. Government guidelines state that parents are allowed to watch games…But any strangers can be questioned and requested to show the appropriate paperwork, which is fair enough…

The school introduced the new measure at the start of the term to prevent strangers from accessing other parts of the school from the playing fields.

A spokesman said: “It is with regret that from now on we will be unable to accommodate parents wishing to spectate at our sports fixtures unless they are in possession of an up-to-date Swindon Council CRB check.

You can always count on the Brits to lead the way in Nanny State political correctness.

This is a logical next step for right-wing nutballs in places as backwards as Arizona and, apparently, Swindon. The “show your papers” syndrome. They are prepared to “protect” children until everyone in the land is required to show an appropriate license for every step they take.

Should men be allowed to sit next to unaccompanied children on airplanes? Are you kidding me…?

An Australian airline’s policy prohibiting male passengers from sitting next to kids traveling alone has fueled a social media firestorm and caused the company to review the rule.

“I am an emergency service worker when I’m off that plane, but as soon as I boarded it I was a presumed pedophile,” firefighter Johnny McGirr told CNN Australian affiliate Network Ten.

While on a Virgin Australia flight earlier this year, he was seated next to two young boys traveling alone until he says a flight attendant asked him to trade seats with a woman.

“It was interesting, like I had done something wrong. Really embarrassed,” said McGirr. He was on a flight from Brisbane to his home in Sydney.

Virgin Australia said its long-standing policy, initially based on customer feedback, allowed for unaccompanied children to sit next to women or an empty seat.

In light of recent feedback, we’re now reviewing this policy,” it said on its blog. “Our intention is certainly not to discriminate in any way”…

“Airlines are acting as custodians of unaccompanied minors, and therefore have the ability to move them to a different seat if they believe that is in their best interest,” a U.S. Department of Transportation spokesman told CNN. “However, DOT has statutes prohibiting airlines from having discriminatory seating policies, including on the basis of gender or age. … Therefore, airlines cannot have policies forcing a man to move if seated next to an unaccompanied minor, but they can, if they choose, have policies requiring an unaccompanied minor to be moved if he/she is originally seated next to an adult male.”

Leave it to bureaucrats to figure out some way to be on both sides of a silly question.

Brits lead the world in silly nanny-state “protection” for children

Don’t blame Father Christmas if he doesn’t allow your child to sit on his knee at a school event — teachers may have banned him from coming into contact with youngsters.

While those playing Father Christmas are no longer required to pass a Criminal Records Bureau check, many schools have decided to “err on the side of caution” and impose rules on grotto behaviour. Parents who have offered to don the red suit have been told they must not allow youngsters to sit on their laps and cannot be left alone with them.

Because CRB checks are required only for volunteers who have regular contact with children, Father Christmases are exempt. However, government guidance states: “Under no circumstances must a volunteer who has not obtained a CRB disclosure … be left unsupervised with children.”

Russell Hobby, the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said this meant many of its members had decided it was better if Father Christmases avoided all physical contact with children

A spokesman for the Department for Education said children could still sit on Father Christmas’s knee as long as parents were consulted and were “completely comfortable” with the situation. “Santas in schools should be treated in the same way that other visitors to the school are managed. Our guidance recommends that for such visitors a member of staff is present,” added the spokesman.

Idiots. It’s more than conceivable, you know, that a modicum of care and oversight can be maintained without turning holiday festivities into rituals requiring approval by censors and bluenoses.

Bentley recalls cars over fears of Flying B hood ornament

The distinctive “Flying B” that adorns the bonnet of Bentley cars has prompted a recall of almost 1,500 top of the range vehicles over fears it could impale pedestrians during an collision.

The metal motif is designed to retract in the event of an accident but a flaw has been found that in some models can cause the mechanism to fail. The fault has prompted the company, which was created in 1919, to recall 1,426 cars across the world including 298 in Britain…

Millionaire owners of the vehicles…have been told to bring in their cars for a one hour repair.

The Flying B badge at the centre of the recall dates back to the late 1920s, when W O Bentley was operating out of Cricklewood in north London.

It survived until the 1970s, when it was withdrawn for safety reasons…posing the risk of pedestrians being impaled on the badge although, according to Bentley, there have been no reports of any such accidents or injuries ever happening..

The probability of an event occurring is equal to the number of times the event has occurred in the past divided by the total number of opportunities for it to occur.

Zero divided by any rational number = less than zero.

Commission for nanny state scrimping – shut for squandering!

The Audit Commission, the body responsible for tackling public waste, has become the most high profile victim of the Government’s war on the bloated public sector after being accused of squandering taxpayers’ cash.

Ministers stepped in to abolish the £200 million-a-year body following a decade of “shocking” excess which culminated in staff enjoying days out at the races and life coaching at public expense.

Officials are also accused of allowing a nanny state culture to foster, which saw local government being forced to abide by an unnecessarily bureaucratic tick box culture.

With a senior echelon of officials dominated by Labour sympathisers, councils were issued with “best practice” dictats relating to how often to collect rubbish, and ordered collate “meaningless” information about residents’ religious beliefs…

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph…the Cabinet minister blamed the Audit Commission for “rigging” the system to force the introduction of unpopular fortnightly bin collections across Britain.

He is also highly critical of the excessive culture within the Audit Commission, with six-figure salaries for its executives and junkets for staff…

The Commission, set up by the Conservatives in 1983, employs more than 2,000 people and has a budget of more than 200 million pounds a year. It has previously launched outspoken attacks on those criticising its work.

If the commission was as thoroughly organized into the morass of elected officials and lobbyists we have here in the States, nothing more than cutbacks on stationery and stamps would have resulted.

Nanny state to hand out lollipops to adults to encourage good behavior

Will giving patrons a lollipop really make them STFU?

The promotion is the idea of the West Dorset District Council, which covers an area of southern England along the English Channel.

The council has given lollipops to pubs and clubs as part of a weeklong anti-noise campaign that starts on Monday, the council said.

“We would rather that revelers leaving pubs and clubs suck on a lollipop than make unnecessary noise which cause complaints,” the council’s Environmental Health Team Leader Graham Duggan said in a statement….

Rick Green, landlord of The Sydney Arms pub in Dorchester, said pub owners came up with the idea together with the council.

The thought was, he told CNN, “that if they got something in their mouths, they wouldn’t be quite so loud when they left the premises.”

His customers are “intrigued about the idea,” Green said.

Somebody please tell the poor fellow that laughing their asses off is not the same as being intrigued.

Painter Fined for Smoking in Own Van — Because It Is a “Workplace” A painter and decorator has been fined £30 for smoking in his own van because it was deemed to be a workplace.

Gordon Williams, 58, of Llanafan, near Aberystwyth, west Wales, was on the way to buy teabags for his wife when he incurred the on-the-spot fine.

He claims the van is insured as a private vehicle and he only uses it to travel between jobs. He has lodged an appeal with Ceredigion county council.

“Of course there are tools and things in the van, but a barrister would carry about documents in a briefcase in his own car. This is no different to my mind,” he said.

I don’t smoke and am intolerant of smoking. However, this sounds way over the top. Besides, I still will vote for free will over the nanny state every time.