Ortiz Commends Boston as They Move Towards Trans Fat Ban

January 16, 2008
Albany – Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, (Brooklyn), author of numerous health and obesity prevention legislation, congratulated health regulators in Boston after they voted unanimously to give a preliminary approval to a trans fat ban.

Ortiz stated, “I am extremely pleased to see that Boston has followed the lead of New York City in working to eliminate this fat whose consumption contributes to obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Eliminating the use of artificial trans fats in food sold in restaurants and corner stores in Boston is imperative to the health of their citizens. When restaurants bombard consumers with these unnecessary and unhealthy chemically modified ingredients, the risk for heart disease is dramatically increased.”

In order for the ban to be implemented, it must receive another approval at a vote in the spring. As of now there is no opposition from the Massachusetts Restaurant Association and they have stated that they do not plan on challenging the proposal in the future.

A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that having as few as 40 calories of a trans fat per day can boost the risk of a heart attack by 23 percent, and a fast-food meal of chicken nuggets and French fries, if prepared with artificial trans fat, can easily contain more than 100 calories of trans fat.

“Although the New York City and Boston bans on trans fat are important initiatives, they only the beginning of what needs to be accomplished to decrease the rate of obesity and diabetes and to improve the health of the citizens of this country,” stated Ortiz.

“I believe that these city proposals should be taken a step further and that statewide bans on trans fat should be enacted. Massachusetts has proposed a statewide ban which is still awaiting passage and I have legislation (A.9031) which would prohibit certain restaurants and food establishments throughout the state from using artificial trans fat. Our state should be leading the country in fighting obesity, and diabetes. People’s health is at stake, this is not an issue that can wait,” Ortiz continued.