The Fat That Kills Banning Trans Fat in Illinois
What is Trans Fat? 2 types: • Natural—in meats such as beef • Man-made—the dangerous kind Trans fats (or trans fatty acids) are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. Another name for trans fats is “partially hydrogenated oils." Look for them on the ingredient list on food packages.
How did trans fat become so pervasive in our food? • In the 1980s, consumer advocacy groups campaigned against using saturated fat for frying in fast-food restaurants. • In response, most fast-food companies began using partially hydrogenated oils containing trans fat instead of beef tallow and tropical oils high in saturated fats.
Why do food companies and restaurants use trans fat? • Easy to use • Inexpensive to produce • Long shelf life • Give foods a desirable taste and texture. • Oils with trans fats can be used repeatedly in commercial fryers.
Why Does It Matter? Why you should avoid trans fat
Health Consequences • Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels • Lowers your good (HDL) cholesterol levels • Eating trans fats increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke. • Associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Coronary Heart Disease “On a per-calorie basis, trans fats appear to increase the risk of CHD more than any other macronutrient, conferring a substantially increased risk at low levels of consumption (1 to 3% of total energy intake).” Between 30,000 and 100,000 cardiac deaths per year in the United States are attributable to the consumption of trans fats. --New England Journal of Medicine337 (21): 1491–1499
CHD Statistics • Coronary heart disease caused 425,425 deaths in 2006. • Is the single leading cause of death in America today. • 17,600,000 people alive today have a history of heart attack, angina pectoris or both. • This year an estimated 1.26 million Americans will have a new or recurrent coronary attack.
Alzheimer Disease Intake of both trans fats and saturated fats promote the development of Alzheimer disease. --Archives of Neurology60 (2): 194–200
How much trans fat can you have? As little as possible! The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of trans fats you eat to < 1 percent of your total daily calories. If you need 2,000 calories a day, no more than 20 of those calories should come from trans fats. That’s less than 2 grams of trans fats a day. Given the amount of naturally occurring trans fats you probably eat every day, this leaves virtually no room at all for industrially manufactured trans fats.
Foods with trans fat • Pastries • Pie crusts • Biscuits • Fried foods • Cookies • Crackers
Countries Banning Trans Fat Denmark was the first country to ban trans fat. Switzerland followed suit. Many cities in Canada have banned it. Retailers in the UK too.
Counties and Cities With Bans • New York City • Philadelphia • Boston • Louisville • Baltimore • King County, WA • Montgomery County, MD • Puerto Rico
Alderman Edward Burke • June 2006: Proposed that Chicago be the first US city to ban trans fat. • Illinois Restaurant Association refused to support the ban. • No compromise was reached, proposal failed.
2007 Artificial Trans Fat Restriction Act • HB 1264 • Proposed by Representative Eddie Washington • Assigned to Consumer Protection Committee • Bill died in 2009
2007 Trans Fat Disclosure Act • HB 1297 • Proposed by Representative LaShawn Ford • Assigned to Consumer Protection Committee • Bill died in 2009
Public School Trans Fat Ban • SB 2858 • Sponsored by Senator Donne E. Trotter and Representative LaShawn Ford • Bill made it to the Third Reading. Lost in extended debate, 2008
HB 5174: Trans Fat Restriction Act Introduced 2/1/10 by Representative LaShawnFord (8th District) • Committees • Access to Federal Funding • Insurance • Youth and Family (Vice-Chairperson) • Juvenile Justice Reform • Revenue & Finance • Finance
Trans Fat Restriction Act • Every food facility shall maintain the manufacturer's documentation for any food or food additive that is or includes any fat, oil, or shortening for as long as the food or food additive is stored, distributed, or served by the food facility or used in the preparation of food within the food facility. • Beginning on July 1, 2010, no oil, shortening, or margarine containing trans fat for use in spreads or frying, except for the deep frying of yeast dough or cake batter, may be stored, distributed, or served by a food facility or used in the preparation of food within a food facility. • Beginning on July 1, 2011, no food containing trans fat, including oil and shortening that contains trans fat for use in the deep frying of yeast dough or cake batter, may be stored, distributed, or served by a food facility or used in the preparation of food within a food facility.
Enforcement • Department of Public Health shall adopt rules to administer and enforce the Act. • During regular inspections, inspector will review food labels. • If violationwarning.
Stakeholders Government FOR: • Department of Public Health • Representative Eddie Washington, 60th District • Alderman Edward Burke AGAINST: • Mayor Daley Non-Government FOR: • American Heart Association • Hospitals, healthcare workers AGAINST: • Illinois Restaurant Association • Small restaurant owners
Effects in New York City Success story: “Total saturated fat and trans fat in French fries, for instance, decreased by more than 50 percent in New York City restaurants, according to the report. Overall, the health officials found, the use of trans fats for frying, baking or cooking and in spreads declined from 50 percent to less than 2 percent.” “Consumers didn't seem to mind. ‘It became clear that trans fats were being successfully replaced, and no one noticed the difference….Foods tasted just as good, and diners are healthier.’“ Lynn Silver, assistant commissioner of New York City Health Department’s Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Control. Annals of Internal Medicine, July 21, 2009
Costs Myth: “Switching to trans-fat free oil will be expensive.” • Switching to trans fat-free frying oil does not increase costs. The trans fat-free frying oils available today have fry lives just as long as partially hydrogenated oils. As every restaurant owner knows, it is fry life that determines cost. • NYC and Tiburon, CA restaurants have not complained of rising costs; still plenty of frying going on. • Even if there is any additional costs, it certainly does not exceed $5 to $10 per week even in the largest restaurant. KFC's third-largest franchise owner, John Neal, says the difference in cost is pennies. Isn’t that a reasonable price to save lives?
My Proposed Changes For ease of enforcement, make no exception for deep frying; have one effective date—July 1, 2011. “(b)Beginning on July 1, 2010, no oil, shortening, or margarine containing trans fat for use in spreads or frying, except for the deep frying of yeast dough or cake batter, may be stored, distributed, or served by a food facility or used in the preparation of food within a food facility. (c) Beginning on July 1, 2011, no food containing trans fat, including oil and shortening that contains trans fat for use in the deep frying of yeast dough or cake batter, may be stored, distributed, or served by a food facility or used in the preparation of food within a food facility.”
“The Government Should Require Food Labeling Instead” Not everyone will read labels and not everyone will understand labels; a whole other problem.
“Consumers Can Choose Not to Eat At Restaurants Using Trans Fat” Unrealistic to advocate for consumers to not eat at a restaurant or not buy their favorite foods because there’s trans fat. If the public has been making well-informed decisions, why has the rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, all shot up in the past couple of decades?