Future archeologists who stumble upon the annals of local government, circa 2012, may find this era remarkable for the things we tried to get rid of: enormous sodas, small plastic water bottles, public swearing, fatty food, loud leaf blowers.
Many of the bans aim to make their communities healthier, as childhood obesity rates have more than tripled in the last 30 years. Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Lynn, and Needham have all banned trans fats, an ingredient in processed foods that has been linked to heart disease.
The campaign against trans fats has been successful because “you could single them out,” said Richard Daynard, a University Distinguished Professor and president of the Public Health Advocacy Institute at Northeastern University. “They weren’t necessary. It took the baking companies a little while to bake some of the stuff that they were using trans fats for but they figured it out. And people are healthier as a result.”