“We feel these bans are a narrow-minded approach to addressing what is basically considered a diabetes and obesity epidemic,” Traverso said. “Those kinds of health problems are caused by genetics and lifestyle and not specifically by trans fats alone.” Traverso said studies have shown about 81 percent of meals people eat are prepared in the home. “It does not get to the root of the problem by banning them in restaurants because people are getting most of their food from their own homes,” Traverso said. Traverso said instead of a government mandate, people need to work on changing their personal choices. Councilwoman Marlen Garcia said she supports a trans fat ban and said Baldwin Park has also been trying to give people healthier personal options for years. “In 2004 we transitioned all vending machines at city facilities including parks, community centers and City Hall to have healthier options with no sodas or chocolate,” Garcia said. “The next step for us is to educate our community on healthier alternatives.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2109 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Trans fat is most commonly found in vegetable shortenings, crackers, cookies, snack foods and others made with or fried in partially hydrogenated oils. Studies have shown that trans fat increases the risk of coronary heart disease and obesity in some people which has resulted in efforts against trans fat at many levels of government. California Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia, R-Cathedral City, proposed a bill in January that would ban trans fats in baked and fried food in restaurants and school lunches statewide. This month she requested the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct a study to find out the benefits to public health if trans fats and saturated fat products were eliminated from food facilities. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors also recently voted for the same type of study on trans fats while New York passed a trans fat ban in January which will keep trans fats from all restaurant foods. Jordan Traverso, a spokeswoman for the California Restaurant Association, said the group feels trans fat bans will not solve the problem. BALDWIN PARK – Mayor Manuel Lozano said he wants Baldwin Park residents to have healthier options when they sit down to eat. Lozano said over the next few weeks, the city will be working on implementing a program to educate restaurants and grocery stores citywide about trans fats. “My goal is to be able to ban trans fats throughout the whole city. However, right now we can’t do that since the state is the one who has regulatory power,” Lozano said. “At this point I’d like to look at it from an educational standpoint and send out information to all our restaurants to let them know about other methods of cooking without trans fat.” Trans fat is made when manufacturers add hydrogen to vegetable oil. The process is used to increase the shelf life of certain baked and fried foods.