Ontario Proposing to Drop Trans Fat From School Cafeterias

November 29, 2007

By taking action now and providing healthier food and beverage choices in our schools, we can improve students' readiness to learn and encourage them to develop important healthy lifestyle habits that will last a lifetime.

TORONTO — Ontario is taking action to make schools healthier places to learn by moving to drop trans fat from lunchroom menus.

"Our kids' health is just too important to risk," said Premier Dalton McGuinty. "Trans fats have no place in our schools and we've got to act now."

Legislation to be introduced tomorrow would drop trans fat from school cafeteria menus and vending machines. It builds on earlier action to ban junk food in elementary schools and a call for 20 minutes of daily exercise.

Trans fat is often found in french fries, some cookies and other cafeteria foods. The processed oil can contribute to childhood obesity. The rate of obesity in kids has tripled over the past 25 years. Most obese children become overweight adults, putting them at higher risk for diabetes and heart disease. Cutting processed trans fat could help save lives and health care dollars.

Ontario's Healthy Food for Healthy Schools Act will call for:

    * An end to selling food with trans fat in school cafeterias
    * An all-out ban on junk food and trans fat in all public school vending machines
    * Healthier menu choices in cafeterias, based on the new Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide.

Under the proposal, Ontario would move to exempt some foods that naturally contain small amounts of trans fat, including beef, lamb and milk.

"We are very pleased the government is joining us in our fight against trans fats," said Rocco Rossi, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. "We look forward to working together to make our schools a healthier environment for our children."

See what the experts are saying at

Learn more about trans fat.

Get healthy eating and active living tips for families.

Further Details