Blog: Observations
by SqueakyClean

NYC and Transfats

New York is getting serious about transfat in restaurants.
I don't live in New York, but I think it's a good move.

Date:   9/27/2006 2:06:41 PM   ( 17 y ) ... viewed 3005 times

New York is getting serious about transfat in restaurants.
I don't live in New York, but I think it's a good move.
I posted this link in the News forum:

Here's the main article, but there are a lot of comments on the website.

NYC to Restaurants: Get an Oil Change
by Annys Shin

In what could be a bellwether move, New York City's Board of Health yesterday took the first step in requiring restaurants to sharply limit the amount of trans fat in their foods.

Trans fat--a.k.a. partially hydrogenated vegetable oils--has been found to significantly increase the risk of heart disease. Public health advocates have likened it to bacon grease in your kitchen sink and lead in paint.

Americans eat, on average, six grams of trans fat a day. A single fast-food meal can contain as much as 10 grams--far higher than the American Heart Association recommended limit of about 2 grams per day

Under the suggested rule, NYC restaurants would have six months to switch cooking oils and shortenings and 18 months to limit trans fat to less than half a gram in the rest of their menu. Pre-packaged food in the original packaging would be exempt.

NYC wants to make mandatory a policy that city health officials have been asking restaurants to adopt voluntarily for the past year. Chains such as Wendy's have stopped using trans fat. Kraft Foods now sells trans fat-free Oreos. But NYC officials say most restaurants have ignored their pleas.

The Board of Health is also considering a requirement that restaurants list the calories in its food on menus and menu boards. The proposed rule would apply only to establishments that already publicly offer calorie information. In practice that means many of the large chains, including McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Such chains offer nutrition information on their Web sites. But who looks up the calories before heading out to Burger King? McDonald's is rolling out nutrition labels, including calorie info on its packaging. But Center for Science in the Public Interest's Margo Wootan says by then, you've already paid for your Big Mac, so that info is of less use than if you had to stare at it on the menu board. (A Big Mac has 560 calories in case you're wondering.)

The D.C. Council is contemplating a requirement that restaurants list calories on menus, too. I once saw the bill's chief sponsor, At-Large Council member Phil Mendelson, breathlessly tell an advisory neighborhood commission meeting that chili cheese fries contained a week's worth of calories, which, incidentally, only delayed my next visit to Ben's Chili Bowl by a month.

That leads me to the question: Even if you know how bad food is for you, will you stop eating it? Do you think a ban on trans fat is a good thing?

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