Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Trans Fat Ban in New York City's Restaurants

The New York City Board of Health made one of the nation's first and most healthy moves to ban and phase out artificial trans fat from the city's restaurants. Click here to read more.

Artificial trans fat has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and death by increasing bad LDL cholesterol and decreasing good HDL cholesterol. The proposal sets a timetable for restaurants to switch to oils, margarines and shortening that have less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. Restaurants will still have until next July 1 to eliminate oils, margarines and shortening from recipes that contain more than a half-gram of trans fat per serving. By July 1, 2008, they would have to remove all menu items that exceed the new limit, including bread, cakes, chips and salad dressings. The requirement for posting caloric content will take effect next July 1, and applies to restaurants that before March 1, 2007, already provided calorie counts on Web sites or in some other public format. Health officials said it would apply to about 10 percent of the city’s restaurants, mainly large chains that have highly standardized menus and portions.

This measure is widely opposed by the restaurant industry. But it would be a model for other cities. Chicago is considering a similar prohibition that would affect restaurants with more than $20 million in annual sales.

Click here to learn more about trans fat and cholesterol.

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