Should we ban trans-fats?

Gary Becker does a quick cost-benefit analysis in his head:

With a small taste benefit from the use of trans fats– the New England Medicine Journal article I cited earlier does admit positive effect of trans fats on
"palatability"– the total cost of the ban would equal or exceed total
benefits.  For example, suppose 1 million persons on average eat 200
meals per year in NYC restaurants with trans fats.  If they value the
taste of trans fats in their foods only by 35 cents per meal, the taste
cost to consumers of the ban would be $70 million per year.  Then the
total cost of the ban would equal the benefits from the ban.

If you click on the link, you’ll see some good arguments against paternalism as well.


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