208296 Cambridge Trans Fat Task Force: Using a Collaborative Approach to Develop a Citywide Ban on Trans Fat

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 11:30 AM

Josefine Wendel, MS, RD, LDN , School Health Program, Cambridge Public Health Department, Cambridge, MA
Dawn B. Olcott, MS , School Health Program, Cambridge Public Health Department, Cambridge, MA
Stacey E. King, MS , Cambridge Public Health Department, Cambridge, MA
Marsha D. Lazar, LICSW , Cambridge Public Health Department, Cambridge, MA
Suzy Feinberg, MPH , Cambridge Public Health Department, Cambridge, MA
Claude-Alix Jacob, MPH , Cambridge Public Health Department, Cambridge, MA
Trans fat has been shown to be a harmful substance which increases risk for cardiovascular disease. It is contained in many foods prepared and served by food service establishments. Following FDA regulations for labeling of trans fat content, the City Council in Cambridge, Massachusetts began a public process to examine the feasibility of eliminating trans fat in Cambridge in December 2006. The initial phase included a recommendation for voluntary elimination of trans fat, and successfully surveyed a sample of local restaurants to understand issues that such an effort would entail.

In 2007, Cambridge built on the initial collaborative approach by forming a multidisciplinary task force to develop recommendations for the best way to implement a ban on trans fat. The ban would affect not only restaurants but all food service establishments inspected by the City, including schools, hospitals, and workplace cafeterias. The priority of the task force was to provide transparency and a feedback mechanism for all parties who would be affected by the regulation. The task force surveyed over 600 food service establishments in Cambridge and presented at mandatory licensing meetings for restaurants. Two public hearings were held for further community input. Feedback was incorporated into the final recommendations to the City on implementing the ban.

To plan for a smooth and successful transition once the ban goes into effect, the task force collaborated with restaurant inspectors to revise inspection processes. Finally, the task force recommended supporting food service establishments through marketing their participation in this effort.

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe 3 steps in using a multidisciplinary, participatory strategy to developing a citywide ban on trans fat. 2.List the partners that affect buy-in to a regulatory approach in banning trans fat. 3.Discuss the pre-implementation steps that take place before a trans fat regulation takes effect.

Keywords: Policy/Policy Development, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Registered Dietitian, lead project manager on trans fat regulation implemention.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.