(Albany, NY) – Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, (Brooklyn), author of numerous health and obesity prevention legislation, congratulated the New York City Board of Health for their unanimous vote to move forward with plans prohibiting the City’s restaurants from serving foods containing artificial trans fats. “I am very pleased to see this action being taken by the New York City Board of Health. Eliminating the excessive use of artificial trans fats is imperative to the health of the citizens of our city. When restaurants bombard consumers with these unhealthy chemically modified ingredients, the risk for heart disease is dramatically increased”.
Ortiz sponsored the law which created New York’s Childhood Obesity Prevention Program in the State Health Department and sponsors other bills to: require nutrition labeling on chain restaurant menus; require health insurance coverage for Medical Nutrition Therapy; increase the quality and quantity of physical education in schools; restrict the sale of junk food in schools; screen for diabetes as part of the annual school health physical; and, provide funding for obesity prevention efforts through levies on junk food, video games and advertising.
“Although this is an important initiative, it is only the first step in the right direction. It will take much more work to decrease the obesity rate and improve the health of our citizens”, stated Ortiz. The New York City Department of Health also proposed changes to the food code that would require certain restaurants to list calories on menus and menu boards. “I hope that we will be able to take this proposal one step further, and pass my bill, A.5664-A, which would require restaurants throughout New York State to post the caloric value, fat content, and sodium content per serving,” Ortiz continued.