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New York Sets Plans to Severely Limit Trans Fats

Now that a health organization as conservative as the American Heart Association has edged closer to a ban on harmful trans fats, some of America's largest cities like New York may be following suit.

In a unanimous decision, the New York City Board of Health approveda proposal earlier this week that would severely restrict trans fats onany menu items served by the city's 20,000 restaurants to a half-gram.The ruling followed an unsuccessful attempt by the NY board toencourage a voluntary trans fat ban among the city's 7,800 restaurantowners.

Considering the average American consumes almost 6 grams of transfats daily, and the average order of French fries contains 8 grams, anyprogress toward a complete ban is a step in the right direction.

Although the board can adopt the plan without intervention orapproval from any other city agency, plans call for a public hearing onOct. 30, before a final vote in December. Unfortunately, it probablywon't happen without a fight from the New York State RestaurantAssociation.

Following the dubious distinction of being voted America's fattest city in 2006by Men's Fitness, my hometown of Chicago is considering a similar banspecifically on restaurants generating more than $20 million annually,which is why chains like Wendy's have made the switch to trans fat-free cooking oils.

CNN.com September 26, 2006

New York Times September 27, 2006 Registration Required