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Living Large in Chicago ...

Posted Oct 01 2008 10:27pm

Catfish beignets, curly fries smothered in cheese, pierogies with sour cream, beer-battered artichoke hearts, and fried dough buried in berry sauce and whipped cream -- all part of the traditional Taste of Chicago and all contributing to Chicago's reputation for being one of the 'fattest' cities in the US. And if Edward M. Burke, Chicago City Councilman since 1969, has his way it will be illegal for restaurants to use oils that contain trans fats, which have been tied to a string of health problems, including clogged arteries and heart attacks.

But even Mayor Richard M. Daley, who often promotes bicycle riding and who not long ago appointed a city health commissioner who announced he was creating health “report cards” for the mayor and the aldermen, has balked at a trans-fat prohibition as one rule too many.

What do you think? I love Chicago, it's my favorite city, and I'll like to see it be more healthy -- but does this go overboard? Or is it in the same category as banning smoking in public places? It brings up a host of legal and ethical questions, what role does government play in regulating lifestyle? And if I consciously choose to smoke or eat trans fats, can I really expect society to pay for my care? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this matter...
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