Trans Fat Ban Has Lots of Loopholes

Ban in restaurants, but lawmakers leave an "icing" exemption.

The Texas Senate voted Friday to ban the use of most trans fats in restaurants -- for health reasons.

But, fearing a backlash from the sweet tooth lobby, the lawmakers provided an exemption for trans fats used to make cakes, pies and other bakery items.

Other exemptions involve food served by grocery stores, fire departments and certain caterers, and the ban would be slowly phased in.

Initially, it would impact only chain establishments. It would apply to all Texas restaurants by late 2011.

Another loophole -- for nonprofit organizations -- was inserted in part to ensure that corn dogs and other fried goodies served at rodeos and state fairs could still be cooked with trans fat.

A 2008 America's Health Rankings study by the United Health Foundation found nearly 29 percent of Texans are considered obese. That's up from about 26 percent in 2007.

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