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Is America's Fattest City Going on a Diet?

Imagine my surprise to read the Chicago City Council -- one of the last big cities in the United States to enact a long overdue smoking ban -- is considering a similar ban on the use of artery-clogging, trans fatty cooking oils in city restaurants.

Alderman Ed Burke is behind the ordinance, the first of its kind among major cities, although in smaller towns like Tiburon, Calif., restaurant owners follow a voluntary ban. And, I'm sure it has everything to do with the most recent list of America's fattest cities, topped by Chicago, in Men's Health.

The proposal would fine restaurants as much as $1,000 a day for failing to comply, a joke to the some of the millions eating tons of trans-fatty food at the city's annual Taste of Chicago, considering a federal corruption scandal brewing at City Hall.

Like Mayor Richard Daley, however, I'm very skeptical anything will actually change. Fact is, most of you realize trans-fatty fast foods are poor health choices for a multitude of reasons, but you do it anyway out of convenience.

The real problem isn't our ability to distinguish the unhealthy from the healthy. Instead, it's our readiness to choose the easier and often health-harming course, not what is or isn't available at McDonald's.

New York Times July 18, 2006 Registration Required

Gadsden Times.com July 18, 2006

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