NYC Trans-Fat Ban a Success

As I reported back in December 2006, the New York City Board of Health voted to ban trans fats in restaurants—a move that sparked protest from many restaurateurs and fast-food establishments.

As of November 2008, the city required that all artificial trans fats be eliminated from prepared dishes.

So, how has the city fared?

In a study published in yesterday’s edition of Annals of Internal Medicine, city officials reveal:

Estimated restaurant use of artificial trans fat for frying, baking or cooking, or in spreads, had decreased from 50% to less than 2%. Preliminary analyses suggest that replacement of artificial trans fat has resulted in products with more healthful fatty acid profiles.

The saturated- and trans-fat levels in French fries, for example, decreased by more than 50% after the ban, officials note. And while restaurants initially voiced concerns about the extra costs they would incur by switching to more healthful oils, officials say no increases actually occurred.

Needless to say, fried foods—even the organic kind—should be consumed in moderation. Click here for information on monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.