State lawmakers nationwide want to trim the fat, and they aren’t talking about budgets this time. After New York City approved a ban on trans fats in restaurants and school cafeterias in early December, legislators in 12 states are considering following in the city’s footsteps. California, Connecticut, Florida and Massachusetts were first with proposals for full or partial statewide bans. The tide grew stronger in January with additional calls for prohibiting trans fats, also known as partially hydrogenated oils, by state legislators in Maryland, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia. The proposals are modeled after the new rules imposed by the New York City Board of Health that ban the use of most of the artery-clogging, cholesterol-raising oils that typically are used to prepare pizza, french fries and pancakes by July 2008. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.