FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, December 11, 2006

NYC Trans Fat Ban May Start a Trend

The recently passed ban on the use of trans fats in restaurant food in New York City may be precedent setting, as national restaurant chains comply by changing their recipes. Additionally, other US cities may follow New York City's lead in adopting such bans, as they did with bans on smoking in restaurants and other public places.

Under the ban, restaurants will need to eliminate trans fats in their foods by July 2007; bakeries will have until July 2008.

Trans fats increase the risk of heart attack and stroke by raising the level of "bad" cholesterol (LDL). Says New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden, "We know that trans fats increase the chance of heart attack, stroke and death, and they don't have to be there... People are no longer dying of typhoid fever. They are dying of heart disease."

The National Restaurant Association opposes the ban and is threatening to sue to block it. Meanwhile, fast-food chains Wendy's and McDonald's, as well as Dunkin Donuts, have pledged to voluntarily reduce the amounts of trans fats in their foods. With these industry pacesetters taking the lead, trans fat reduction may become a national trend, with or without legislation.

Source: tvnz.co.nz