The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has officially banned trans fats in the US, policy which will be implemented by 2018.

American consumption of trans fats has reportedly decreased by 78% from 2003 to 2013. This has prompted Republicans and other critics such as Daren Bakst of The Heritage Foundation to question whether an official government ban is necessary, saying it is “certainly counter to the idea of American liberty and freedom.” 

Trans fats are found in many American staples such as doughnuts and other chain restaurant fare, and serve as a preservative as well as a flavor enhancer. The FDA believes the ban, in full effect in three years, will reduce the risk of heart disease, a common killer for Americans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that approximately one in four deaths in the United States are due to heart disease.

Republicans fear that this ban could lead to restriction of food choices, and too much government intervention in health policy. Comparisons have been drawn to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's famous smoking ban, and attempted outlawing of large sodas

Cover image: Cocodonuts