Trans fats are a leading cause of heart disease, the number-one killer in America. The solution seems simple: take them out of our food. Not that you need us of all people to tell you that trans fats are the devil (the devil!) but in case you hadn't heard, yesterday the FDA moved to ban them across the board. Labeling trans fat content has been required since 2006, a step that encouraged many food corporations to start pulling the bad stuff from their products once its reputation went downhill. But soon, food producers might not have a choice.
Quick refresher: trans fats are synthesized by processing liquid oil with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil to create a solid fat that acts more like butter. While food made with trans fats like snack cakes, cookies, crackers, pizza dough, biscuits and the like may last forever on shelves while looking and tasting pretty darn good — for reasons we'd rather not look too far into at this point — the second you've swallowed those fats, they're seeking a nice smooth section of artery to set up shop. But you knew that already, which the FDA is aware of.
"While consumption of potentially harmful artificial trans fat has declined over the last two decades in the United States, current intake remains a significant public health concern," says Dr. Margaret Hamburg, an FDA commissioner.
The measure will undergo a 60-day review period to ensure eliminating trans fats is the right move…for a country famous for heart attacks. True to form, none of the corporations still using trans fat to manufacture their food have issued statements. If trans fat is banned, it would still be years before America kicks the habit for good, but admitting we have a problem is the first step.
More news on Food Republic: