Trans Fats

This passage is about the way trans fats contribute to obesity, and what people are doing about it.

Lexile Level: 1170L

Categories: Sports & Health

One of the most pressing health problems in the United States today is obesity. As of 2005 around 119 million Americans were either overweight or obese. That's nearly 65 percent of the population. Health experts say this rise in obesity is due to several factors, including a decrease in the time people spend exercising and an increase in the amount of fattening foods people consume. In 2006 in response to these statistics, New York City passed a law banning trans fats from restaurants. Trans fats are a kind of processed fat found in cookies, cakes, and fast foods. Manufacturers prefer them because they have a long shelf life. However, trans fats have been shown to contribute to heart disease by simultaneously raising bad cholesterol and lowering good cholesterol in the body. The New York City ban was widely criticized by restaurant owners who argued that it would place an unfair burden on their businesses. Others, however, applauded the ban, calling trans fats "a slow form of poison."


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