Sen. Doug Jackson, D-Dickson, on Wednesday will introduce SB0040, legislation that requires all food service establishments in Tennessee to identify foods on their menus that contain artificial trans fat and include a warning statement regarding the health risk, to the Senate General Welfare, Health, & Human Resources Committee. General Welfare meets at 9:30 a.m. CDT in Legislative Plaza Room 12.
"Consumers should know what's in their food and the potential risks associated with those ingredients," Sen. Jackson said. "We're all concerned about reducing health care costs in Tennessee. The most effective way to do this is to promote healthy diets. This information is essential to making informed choices and maintaining healthy lifestyles."
Harvard University researchers recently estimated that trans fat (unsaturated fat) annually causes as many as 228,000 heart attacks in the United States, 50,000 of them fatal, he said. The Center for Science in the Public Interest translates those figures into approximately 4,500 heart attacks and 1,000 deaths in Tennessee each year.
"Various groups tell us that Tennessee has health problems, particularly when it comes to heart disease," Sen. Jackson said. "We need to take action to encourage healthy eating habits."
Late last year, New York City announced a phase out of trans fat. Legislatures in at least 11 other states are considering bills to restrict or ban them in restaurants and schools.
Nashville doctors David Maron and Rosemarie Robertson will testify in support of Sen. Jackson's bill.