Tuesday, December 5, 2006
New York City's health department decided that restaurants in the that city will start phasing out the use of trans fats in cooking and ban the fats entirely by July 2008. New York is the first major city to initiate such a ban. As you may recall, NYC had attempted a voluntary ban but that was unsuccessful. Trans fats have been linked to heart disease and diabetes as well as other unhealthy conditions. USNews reports on the ban and states how such bans may be soon adopted in more cities,
Packaged foods have been required to list trans fat content on their labels since January, and many are now using the absence of the fats as a marketing technique, much as they've touted fat-free and low-carbohydrate goods in the past. Restaurant chains like KFC, Taco Bell, and Wendy's have also worked to replace trans fats in their products. Other cities are likely to follow New York's lead. "After it banned smoking in bars and restaurants, other cities fell like dominos," says Willett.
Unfortunately, the article continues by noting,
The fat switch, however, will not cause people to lose weight more easily. "Although the products may be made with a healthier fat, there's no difference in calories," warns Lichtenstein. To lose pounds, people will have to eat less and exercise more, not just swap one kind of fat for another. Moreover, says Willett, something could be completely free of trans fats and still be unhealthily heavy on pure starch and sugar, hepoints out. Instead of focusing on one ingredient, consumers should take a broader view of their diets.
The New York Times has more information here.