‘We Must Be Doing Something Right': Bloomberg Cheers Federal Trans Fats Ban

Today's New York Post.

Today’s New York Post.

We did it here first.

Yesterday, the federal government moved to ban trans fats–expanding one of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s signature public health initiatives in the five boroughs dating back to 2006.

Speaking on his weekly WOR radio show this morning, Mr. Bloomberg credited the city for inspiring the national move.

“When New York does something, because we’re the media capital, and the fashion capital, and the IT capital and whatever–lots of other things–the impact of what we do around the world is much greater than if another place did it,” he argued.

Mr. Bloomberg went on to tout some of his other health initiatives, including smoke-free restaurants, sodium restrictions and the required posting of calorie counts in fast-food restaurants. “Calorie counts are required all across the United States–that started here,” he said.

These moves have paid off, he argued: “In New York City now, people live 2, 3 years longer than they did 12 years ago and longer than the national average–so we must be doing something right.”

Under the new rules unveiled yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration declared that partially hydrogenated oils, the source of trans fats, are no longer “generally recognized as safe.” And while some manufacturers may need to modify their products, Mr. Bloomberg stressed today the rule won’t have a significant impact because many of the biggest food companies have already agreed to eliminate trans fats.

“The good news about trans fats is that companies don’t really need to use them. Every scientist says they’re bad for you–you can argue ‘how bad’ or whatever–but McDonald’s, Starbucks, Taco Bells, they just got rid of all trans fats,” said Mr. Bloomberg. “If you can help people a little bit, there’s no harm in doing it.”

“The fact that the big manufacturers are doing it and have done it already says that this going to be–other than a few days [of] stories in the papers–it’s not going to be that big of a deal,” he concluded.