sexta-feira, 26 de setembro de 2008

Transfat: o novo alvo

Walter Willett esteve essa semana em São Paulo e Porto Alegre. Ele é um dos assim chamados "figurões" da ciência mais acessíveis e de fácil trato. Publiquei em 2004, um trabalho em conjunto com ele. Agora, ele (na esquerda da foto) começa a campanha pra banir os alimentos com gordura trans.
Nutrition Chair Willett Joins Mayor Menino in Reminding Bostonians of Start of Trans Fat Ban Walter Willett, chair of the HSPH Department of Nutrition, joined Mayor Thomas Menino at a press conference on Friday, September 12, to remind residents that Boston’s ban on artificial trans fat would begin officially the next day. The press conference was held at local Mission Hill bistro The Savant Project, which stopped using trans fat three months ago. According to a press release from the Boston Public Health Commission, Boston is the first city in Massachusetts to implement a ban on trans fats. Brookline has passed a similar ban, but it will not go into effect until later this year. Approximately 5,600 restaurants and other food service establishments in the city must start eliminating partially hydrogenated oil from food or beverages. Businesses that violate the ban will receive a citation and fine ranging from $100 to $1,000. Trans fatty acids, or trans fats, raise the level of bad (LDL) cholesterol in the body and lower the good (HDL) cholesterol. Consuming trans fat can increase one’s risk of developing heart disease and stroke. It can also put people at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Willett has been a leading voice in encouraging the removal of trans fats from foods. His research has helped contribute to the public's understanding of the health detriments of consuming the substance and to federal regulations requiring it be listed on food labels. The Public Health Commission board approved the trans fat ban in March and is implementing it in two phases. As of September 13, food service establishments may no longer use oils, shortenings, and margarines containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oil for frying, sautéing, grilling, or as a spread. Six months later, the ban will apply to baked goods, mixes, partially fried items, and all other foods containing artificial trans fat. The ban affects all food service establishments that are required to hold a permit from Boston’s Inspectional Services Department. These include restaurants, grocery stores, delis, cafeterias in schools and businesses, caterers, senior-center meal programs, children’s institutions, mobile food-vending units and commissaries that supply them, bakeries, park concessions, street-fair food booths, and other establishments. The ban does not apply to food or beverages served in the manufacturer’s original sealed package, such as a package of cookies or a bag of potato chips. It also does not apply to food or beverage items that contain less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.

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