Written December 6, 2006

New York City has made a decision that may very well save lives. It will certainly contribute to the quality of life and maybe even the lengthen the life of its restaurant-going citizens.

Today’s New York Times reports that NYC has adopted “the nation’s first major municipal ban on the use of all but tiny amounts of artificial trans fats in restaurant cooking, a move that would radically transform the way food is prepared in thousands of restaurants, from McDonald’s to fashionable bistros to Chinese take-outs.”

Trans fats are directly linked to heart disease. Moreover, NYC will now require fast food chains and others to reveal that calories in the food they serve, a great step in addressing a nationwide obesity epidemic.

But the greed-drenched mind of the National Restaurant Association isn’t happy. The NYT quotes Dan Flesher, a spokesman for the National Restaurant Association as saying “This is a misguided attempt at social engineering by a group of physicians who don’t understand the restaurant industry.” How Mr. Flesher and those of his ilk sleep at night is beyond me. What NYC and most people know is trans-fat kills and calories contribute to obesity and obesity kills. NYC has done what all people hope their governments will do, it has sought to make the world a safer place.

How groups like the National Restaurant Association can support a product that kills and causes heartbreak in familes across the nation is something I can’t comprehend. Public officials taking real steps to make the world safer is something I comprehend, welcome and digest quite comfortably, thank you very much.


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