BROOKLYN - The Big Apple got healthier Tuesday when the New York City Board of Health banned trans fats in Brooklyn and city restaurants.

The board unanimously passed the measure, making NYC the first city in the nation to impose such a ban. Starting July 1, 2007, eateries will be barred from using cooking oils containing trans fats. Eateries will have until July 1, 2008 to eliminate all foods containing trans fats from their menus. Many people in the restaurant industry argued against the ban, saying the time frame to cut the fat is unrealistic.

Trans fats are created when oils are made into solids, making them "partially-hydrogenated." Health experts say while the altered oils have a longer shelf life, they are also linked to heart disease and obesity. The Food and Drug Administration estimates the average American eats 4.7 pounds of trans fats each year.

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