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New York Leads the Way By Banning Trans Fats

The battle for a trans fat-free America began in earnest yesterday in New York when the city's board of health made good on its intentions to ban restaurants from using the artificial, artery-clogging fat nobody needs.

The unanimous vote by the New York board prohibits the use of oils, spreads and shortenings on July 1, 2007. Eateries and bakeries have an extra year to find replacements for baked goods and deep-fried desserts.

Another good decision made by the board that may certainly make a dent in the obesity epidemic, at least in New York: Calorie information must be posted on menus and menu boards where it can be seen before patrons order their food.

The bold move by the New York board of health appears to be having a ripple effect elsewhere. Boston health officials may impose a trans fats ban of their own as early as February, and there's talk of similar moves afoot in Washington, D.C., Seattle and Philadelphia. Unfortunately, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has ridiculed talk of a trans fats ban as intrusive and any proposed restrictions that may come will likely only apply to chains with annual sales of at least $20 million, giving eating establishments a free pass.

Folks, there's no free pass when it comes to trans fats, considering they contribute more to a patient's weight gains than any other kind of fat.

USA Today December 6, 2006

Boston Herald December 6, 2006

Chicago Sun-Times December 6, 2006