BEIJING, Sept. 28
(Xinhuanet) -- The City of New York wants to save the lives of 18,000 residents
a year by limiting the amount of trans fats to a half gram for every item on the
menus of the city's 24,000 restaurants.
The sign of banning trans fats.
According to a plan endorsed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and approved by
the city's board of health, New York's restaurants, cafes and street
stalls will be forced to a half-gram limit of trans fats. (File
According to a plan endorsed by Mayor Michael
Bloomberg, and approved by the city's board of health, New York's restaurants,
cafes and street stalls will be forced to a half-gram limit of trans fats.
One serving of chips can contain as much as eight grams.
More and more health experts have been warning that
hydrogenated fat could contribute to heart disease by raising blood cholesterol
levels. Hydrogenation is a process whereby the fats are formed by
subjecting oils to high temperatures, which stabilizes and solidifies them to
make last longer. They are used in baked goods and for deep frying.
Health professionals say the fats have no
nutritional value and can raise the risk of heart disease, a condition that
kills 18,000 New Yorkers under the age of 65 each year.
The board of health established
a December deadline for consultation, then restaurants will have until
July to change to oils or margarine with less than a half gram per
serving. The move would be "cost neutral" as alternatives could be bought
at the same price, according to the board.
Charles Hunt,vice president of the New York State
Restaurant Association, said the new rule will have a negative affect on it
3,500 member restaurants. Hunt compared trans fat to smoking, eliciting a
freedom of personal choice issue.
"You choose what you eat and that [choice] only
affects you," Hunt said. "We don't think it's appropriate for a non-elected body
such as the health board to make a decision that will have a big effect on
restaurants across New York City."
New York leads the U.S. in density of food outlets,
and about 50 percent use trans fats. Residents of the city also tend to eat out
or order out more often than most Americans.
The Big Apple tried a yearlong
educational promotion to persuade outlets to shift voluntarily from trans
fats, but the board of health concluded the program had minimal impact.
Some big U.S. fast-food chains, including Starbucks and Wendy's, have indicated
they will restrict trans fats. Enditem