According to a research article in the April 2006 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine conducted in part by the Harvard School of Public Health Department of Nutrition (lead author: D. Mozaffarian), "eliminating trans fats from the United States' food supply could prevent up to [20 percent] of heart attacks and related deaths."
As much as food companies love partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats) for the crispy textures and long shelf lives they offer, they are a nutritional enemy.
As evidenced by recipe modifications following trans fat bans in some parts of the country, it is perfectly possible to create a variety of snacks and baked goods that are trans-fat free (without altering flavor in the slightest).
However, thousands of products on United States supermarket shelves continue to list partially hydrogenated oils as an ingredient.
And if you're not living in a city or county that passed a trans fat ban for restaurants, you can bet you are getting a fair share of this man-made fat from French fries and baked goods.
Many European countries were able to completely remove partially hydrogenated oils from their food supply, so why not follow suit?