Here is an example of direct intervention in markets to address some of the information failures associated with the obesity epidemic. US food authorities have taken the first step towards banning artificial transfats, substances that are found in processed foods. They say it is a move that could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths a year.
Artificial trans fats are used both in processed food and in restaurants as a way to improve the shelf life or flavour of foods. The fats are created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil, making it a solid.
– Crackers, cookies, cakes, frozen pies and other baked goods.
– Microwave popcorn products.
– Frozen pizza.
– Vegetable shortenings and stick margarines.
– Coffee creamers.
– Refrigerated dough products (such as biscuits and cinnamon rolls).
– Ready-to-use frostings.