Chicago is looking to be the first major city to outright ban cooking oils containing trans fat. Alderman Edward M. Burke leads the push:Monica Davey of The New York Times reports
Edward M. Burke, who has served on the Chicago City Council since 1969, when cooking oil was just cooking oil, is pressing his colleagues to make it illegal for restaurants to use oils that contain trans fats, which have been tied to a string of health problems, including clogged arteries and heart attacks.The move is a reaction to Men’s Fitness magazine proclaiming Chicago the fattest city in the nation. Burke also points to increased occurrences of diseases linked to trans fat:
If approved, nutrition experts say, the ban will be the first in a major city, following the lead of towns like Tiburon, Calif., just north of San Francisco, where restaurant owners have voluntarily given up the oils.
Mr. Burke, pointing to increases in obesity, diabetes and heart disease, is unapologetic. He does not profess that better oils would suddenly make Chicago skinny but says that they would at least begin to alleviate some of the related coronary concerns.Burke’s mission is not without merit. In Eat to Live Dr. Fuhrman stresses avoiding trans fat, even going as far as to call it poisonous.
“If it were just about adults, I would say, ‘O.K., we should butt out,’ ” Mr. Burke said in an interview. “But youngsters are assuming diets that are unhealthy.”
Trans fat is larger threat to health than most people know because not only can it be found in obvious foods like French fries and fried dough, according to Dr. Fuhrman it lurks in less suspicious foods as well:
Trans fats are found in ubiquitously in processed food: crackers, cookies, cakes, frozen foods, and snacks. Most of these enticing desserts, fried foods, and convenience foods are deadly, heart-attack-causing foods, even if they contain no animal products and no cholesterol, because of the trans fats they contain. Even Orville Redenbacher’s natural microwaveable popcorn contains artery-clogging trans fats.