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Public Health - Seattle & King County

Nutrition labeling and trans fat in King County

King County amends nutritional labeling regulation to align with national

A public hearing on the proposed regulation to amend the King County Board of Health code on menu labeling to align with the national statute for nutrition labeling was held at the King County Board of Health meeting on May 20, 2010 and resulted in the passage of the amendment. The amended regulation aligns current King County regulation with the national Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and is effective as of June 19, 2010. The King County Board of Health had received a prior briefing on national nutrition labeling at their regular meeting on April 15, 2010.

diners making informed choices on a menu listing calories and saturated fat Nutrition labels are taking the guesswork out of making healthier choices when eating out. While it's probably no surprise that a bacon double cheeseburger isn't the healthiest item on the menu, it may come as a shock that items like salads and smoothies can be even higher in saturated fat and calories. How many of us would guess that a chicken caesar salad could have more than 800 calories? That's more calories than a 6-inch steak and cheese sub sandwich.

The King County Board of Health's nutrition labeling regulation requires some chain food restaurants permitted by Public Health - Seattle & King County to provide calorie, saturated fat, carbohydrate and sodium information to customers.

burger and fries Artificial trans fat is formed during a chemical process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid, creating a "partially hydrogenated oil." Even eating small amounts of trans fats increase the risk for coronary heart disease by raising LDL (bad cholesterol) and decreasing HDL (good cholesterol). Studies predict that replacing trans fats with healthier fats and oils can prevent approximately 30,000 to 100,000 premature deaths each year in the United States.

The legislation passed by the King County Board of Health in July 2007 requires all food establishments with operating permits from Public Health - Seattle & King County to discontinue using products that contain 0.5 grams or more of artificial trans fat per serving, with the exception of foods served in their original container and unopened, such as potato chips.


Stakeholder committees for trans fat and nutrition labeling

The regulations have been passed, and now Public Health - Seattle & King County must develop more specific guidelines. Public Health has worked with representatives from the food industry and food establishments to inform, review, provide comment and offer suggestions to the guidelines. Two committees were established, one for trans fat and one for nutrition labeling. The stakeholder committees began meeting to establish policy and procedures for implementation.