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Bay State Restaurants Still Using Artificial Trans Fat Despite Health Risks
Date:3/13/2008

New Test Results Indicate Need for Statewide Phase-out, Says CSPI

BOSTON, March 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Even though artificial trans fat promotes heart attacks and early deaths, major chains -- including Massachusetts-based Friendly's -- are still serving foods containing partially hydrogenated oil -- the only artificial source of trans fat. But chains as diverse as McDonald's, Legal Sea Foods, and Uno Chicago Grill use healthful oils for deep-frying, which, the Center for Science in the Public Interest says, shows that any chain could easily serve foods free of artificial trans fat.

CSPI says that the trans fat levels found in fried foods at Burger King and Friendly's make a compelling case for cities and state legislatures to pass measures that would require restaurants to phase out their use of artificial trans fat. The city of Boston's health department is holding a hearing on a citywide trans-fat phase-out today, and a statewide bill, sponsored by Rep. Peter Koutoujian (D-Waltham), is pending. Brookline passed a prohibition on restaurants' use of artificial trans fat in June. Elsewhere, New York City (http://www.cspinet.org/new/200612052.html), Philadelphia (http://www.cspinet.org/new/200702081.html), and several counties have required restaurants to stop serving foods with significant amounts of artificial trans fat.

According to independent laboratory tests (http://www.cspinet.org/new/pdf/finaltrans.pdf) commissioned by CSPI, a 5.5-ounce serving of French fries from Friendly's has a decidedly unfriendly two grams of trans fat -- an entire day's worth. The fries highest in trans fat were found at Burger King: 6 grams of trans fat in a 4.6-ounce large order, according to both CSPI's test results and the company
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SOURCE Center for Science in the Public Interest
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