Philadelphia -- The Latest American City to Ban Trans Fats Entirely

Even though Chicago fell entirely out of the newest Men's Health list of the top 10 fattest cities in America, my hometown has yet to make the same strides as Philadelphia whose city council unanimously approved a trans fats ban of their own, the second city in the United States to enact one.

That's a very impressive feat for the city of Brotherly Love, because it took their council five years to debate and finally approve a ban on smoking, but only weeks to mount a campaign to eliminate trans fats. The phased-in ban begins Sept. 1 with restaurants no longer being permitted to offer food spreads or fried foods containing trans fats, and a total ban on trans fats beginning a year later.

The unfortunate early loophole that, hopefully, will be fixed very soon: Philadelphia's health department must enforce the trans fats ban but has no authority to levy fines against eateries that violate the ordinance.

Still, there's little doubt in my mind these trans fats bans being discussed all over America are making patients more aware than ever about the dangers of processed foods, especially those they eat away from home.

Simply, these bans will indeed be a lifesaver for many folks.

MSNBC February 9, 2007

Philadelphia Inquirer February 8, 2007