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.”


Read the article at The Boston Globe →