Five years ago NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the Department of Health to ban trans fats in all city restaurants. It was the first such edict by any American city. Yesterday a city-funded study reported that the ban is having a dramatic effect on the amount of trans fats consumed by diners.
A new analysis of thousands of lunch receipts, collected at fast-food chains before and after the ban went into effect, estimates that the average trans fat content of customers’ meals has dropped by 2.5 grams, from about 3 grams to 0.5 grams. Additionally, the proportion of meals containing less than 0.5 grams — an amount generally considered negligible — increased from 32% to 59% between 2007 and 2009. “For consumers, the transition was seamless. Most New Yorkers didn’t even notice,” says Christine Curtis, a coauthor of the study and the director of the city’s Nutrition Strategy Program. “And now we know that it has really made a difference.”
The above news will likely bolster Bloomberg’s call to ban large servings of soft drinks and other “sugared” beverages.