From the City Council that declared war on trans-fats and fast-food restaurants comes the latest way to make residents feel, well, guilty about what they eat.

The Los Angeles council, in a 14-0 vote on Friday, adopted a resolution urging residents to adopt a personal pledge to have a "meatless Monday."

While it does not have the force of law and police will not be checking what you brought to work for lunch, city officials said they hope it will start a trend, make residents healthier and reduce the impact on the environment.

"This follows the `good food' agenda we recently adopted supporting local, sustainable food choices," said Councilwoman Jan Perry, who has called for a ban on new fast-food restaurants in South Los Angeles to fight obesity.

"We can reduce saturated fats and reduce the risk of heart disease by 19 percent," Perry said. "While this is a symbolic gesture, it is asking people to think about the food choices they make. Eating less meat can reverse some of our nation's most common illnesses."

Councilman Ed Reyes, who joined with Perry in proposing the resolution, said one of his sons has been diagnosed with diabetes.

"The issue is how does a local municipality engage in this and how do we create change," Reyes said. "If we do it one plate at time, one meal, one day, we are ratcheting down the impact on our environment. We start with one day a week and then, who knows, maybe we can change our habits for a lifetime.


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The proposal was developed by the Food Policy Council, which has a goal of "creating more and better food jobs" and encouraging food companies and small food enterprises as part of a bigger agenda to encourage healthy foods in the city.

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