HealthCommentary

Exploring Human Potential

Trans Fats: Out of the Frying Pan in NYC

Posted on | December 5, 2006 | No Comments

Over the past few years, I’ve done several Health Politics pieces on obesity — dealing with the economic, health, social and scientific aspects of the challenge. I remember thinking that once a figure was put on all this excess morbidity and mortality, the political apparatus would begin to turn its wheels. And it has.

Today, the New York City Board of Health, at the recommendation of Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden, approved a broad, sweeping ban on restaurants’ use of trans fats. Starting in July 2007, the use of trans fats for frying is outlawed, and a year later, trans fats will disappear from all recipes. It’s expected that other cities will rapidly follow.

To me, the most striking take-away is that health consumerism has become full-blown health advocacy right before our eyes. If you know a preferred future and have a clear understanding of how to build it, in the past you’d dream about. Today, you build it.

Under the current conditions, it is not unreasonable to believe that today’s action and others like it are simply the leading edge of more sweeping approaches to health reform on a national scale.

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