Peter, in modern quantities it's inflammatory and probably promotes obeisity. Although it is essential, it appears the optimal level in your diet is about 3-4 grams, well below what most western diet eaters get.
http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2 ... ional.html
You can offset the excessive omega 6 with omega 3 supplementation but that requires a lot of omega 3. It's better to keep both in the 3-4 gram range.
Of course the AHA says that' just wrong and they are the authority and must be right.
I really think that as long as you are eating whole foods, minimizing grains and other processed foods, you should be all right. Nature has a way of putting the antidotes with the poisons, like egg yolk with the egg white. If we eat the way nature intended, we'll probably be better off than following a reductionist approach.
Not all O6 is the same.
Most don't get enough Conjugated Linoleic Acid which is found in Grass fed and wild meat.