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Trans fats might be on the way out in Illinois

(via Flickr/Neil Conway)
Artificial trans fats are in around 80 percent of American food products.

Artificial trans fats might be escorted out of Illinois after House lawmakers passed a bill banning them in restaurants, school vending machines and other venues statewide, according to the Post Dispatch.

The bill, if passed in the Senate, would take effect Jan. 1, 2013.

Illinois would become only the second state to pass such legislation, after California did so in 2008. But other bills combating the fat were passed in New York City in 2006, according to NPR.

Some trans fats are naturally occurring, like in beef and dairy foods, according the University of Maryland Medical Center. But close to 80 percent of trans fat in American’s diets is artificial.

Trans fats became such a national concern that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced in 2006 that products containing them would be required to have detailed nutritional labeling indicating their existence to possible consumers.

Illinois residents might grumble about the bill, but lawmakers say it is designed to save lives and improve people’s health.

State Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, and the sponsor of the bill was quoted in the Post saying, “It is poisonous to the system. People should be able to eat what they want, (but) it’s also the responsibility of the government to provide the best quality of life for the people.”

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