Lite peanuts and Cracker Jack

First, the New York City Board of Health decided to ban trans fats by 2008. Then, California followed suit: Legislators in both houses this year sponsored bills that would ban said fats in restaurants and schools. Now, things are even getting healthier at the ol’ ballpark. Raley Field, home of the River Cats, will begin to eliminate trans fats in their food offerings this season—even without pressure from state legislators.

Artificial trans fats, or trans fatty acids, are made from adding hydrogen to vegetable oil, which preserves both the shelf life and flavor of foods. Overindulgence in trans fats can lead to increased bad cholesterol and, over time, coronary heart disease.

Senate Bill 490 would prohibit school grades K-8 from serving foods containing trans fats. But Assembly Bill 97, which recently made its way out of committee, would take things a step further: The bill would phase out the use of trans fats at California restaurants, school cafeterias and supermarket delis by July of 2010.