Trans Fats and Schools

This Act limits prohibits schools from offering or providing access to students in kindergarten through high school foods containing artificial trans fat. The measure applies to vending machines and schools’ food service establishments before and during school hours.

Submitted as:
Chapter 648
Status: Enacted into law in 2007.

Suggested State Legislation: 2009 Docket

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(Title, enacting clause, etc.)

Section 1. [Short Title.] This Act shall be cited as “An Act to Limit School Offerings of Foods Containing Trans Fats to Students.”

Section 2. [Legislative Findings.] The [Legislature] finds and declares as follows:
(a) Trans fatty acids, also known as trans fats, have a detrimental impact on a person’s health by:
(1) increasing blood insulin level in response to glucose load;
(2) affecting immune response;
(3) decreasing the response of the red blood cells to insulin;
(4) causing alterations in physiological properties of biological membranes;
(5) causing alterations in adipose cell size, cell number, lipid class, and fatty acid composition;
(6) lowering serum HDL cholesterol; and
(7) impairing endothelial function.
(b) In 1997, a New England Journal of Medicine study found eating one gram of trans fats a day for a decade increased the risk of cardiovascular disease by 20 percent.
(c) Recent research by Harvard Medical School shows that high trans fat intake represents a significant risk for developing premature diabetes.
(d) Trans fats increase the risk of heart disease and stroke by increasing levels of so-called bad cholesterol, known as LDL, and reducing levels of so-called good cholesterol, known as HDL.
(e) There is an overwhelming amount of evidence revealing the damage trans fat can do to the health of an individual.

Section 3. [Limiting the Availability of Foods Containing Trans Fat at Schools.]
(a) For purposes of this section of this Act, a food contains artificial trans fat if a food contains vegetable shortening, margarine, or any kind of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, unless the manufacturer’s documentation or the label required on the food, pursuant to applicable federal and state law, lists the trans fat content as less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.
(b) For purposes of this section, “school food service establishment” means a place that regularly sells or serves a food item or meal on a school campus.
(c) Commencing on [insert date] a school or school district, through a vending machine or school food service establishment [during school hours and up to one-half of an hour before and after school hours], shall not make available to pupils enrolled in kindergarten, or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, food containing artificial trans fat, as defined in subdivision (a) of this section or use food containing artificial trans fat in the preparation of a food item served to those pupils.
(d) This section does not apply to food provided as part of a USDA meal program.

Section 4. [State Reimbursement to Local Agencies.]
If the [Commission on State Mandates] determines this Act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to [insert citation].

Section 5. [Severability.] [Insert severability clause.]

Section 6. [Repealer.] [Insert repealer clause.]

Section 7. [Effective Date.] [Insert effective date.]

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