Thursday, October 05, 2006
The War on Fat
New York City: The Big Apple. Land of opportunity. Food, everywhere you look. Come December, the city’s restaurant menu may be partially revamped. Last week, health department officials proposed a new code that would force the city’s 20,000 restaurants to limit their use of trans fats, the hydrogenated oils found in French fries, pies, and other processed goods. Establishments, including the city’s umpteen McDonald’s, would have to switch to oils and shortenings that have fewer than .5 grams of trans fat per serving.
Why the proposal? Artery-clogging trans-fats have been linked to heart disease. "New Yorkers are consuming a hazardous, artificial substance without their knowledge or consent," says Health Commissioner, Thomas Frieden. Earlier this year, the FDA began requiring food manufactures to list trans fat content on product labels. Now, New York City restaurateurs are up in arms, arguing that such a ban would affect the taste of menu items and would also drive up costs. New York, which banned smoking in restaurants in 2003, would be the first city to attack trans fats, though Chicago may soon follow suit.