by Gabe Bullard
With the politically-unpopular trans fat-ban legislation dead, the Louisville Metro Council will take new steps to reduce trans fat consumption this week.
A Health Department task force endorsed a trans fat ban in February, saying it would save the city money on health care. But with the ban unlikely to pass the council, department director Dr. Adewale Troutman suggested the body instead call for a voluntary ban in restaurants and a public education campaign on the dangers of trans fat.
A resolution doing just that goes before the Health and Human Needs Committee this week. Committee chair Vicki Aubrey Welch says it’s likely the resolution will pass, and not need much, if any, additional funding.
“It’s already part of the health initiatives we have with the hometown movement and those sorts of things,” she says. “There are some things there that it can funnel itself into, you now, the programs that are already there.”
Trans fat is used in some food to extend shelf life, but has been linked to health problems. Education campaigns have not significantly reduced trans fat consumption in other cities, but Welch says she thinks it will work in Louisville because alternatives to trans fat are readily available.
“They are now coming about because of the national trend of having trans-fat bans,” she says. “The demand for these has gone up and therefore there are more products.”