STAMFORD - The city of Stamford has proposed banning trans fats in an effort to battle obesity and related ailments.

If passed, the ban would change the way food is prepared in about 600 eateries and several school cafeterias in the city. Stamford would become the first city in southwestern Connecticut to institute such a ban.

Dr. Henry Lee, of the city's health department, said the proposed ban is part of a fight against heart disease.

"Certainly, we don't think that by banning trans fats in food-service establishments we are [going to] eradicate heart disease. But it's one piece of the puzzle and it's partly to educate, and partly to ensure residents that when they go out to a food establishment they're not going to be consuming food known to contribute to heart disease," Lee said.

Trans fats are found in many fried foods and sweets, such as cookies and cakes.

If approved, the ban would go into effect in July.