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The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on the confusion often felt by people subscribing to one of the many diets that are popular today, only to find out that some of the foods that they are eating contain the new nutritional boogeyman: trans fats, which are believed to cause as much damage to the heart as saturated fat.

"Brands with trans fat in at least some of their products include Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, Slim Fast, and Weight Watchers Smart Ones -- foods that are marketed as nutritionally balanced," the paper reports.

The good news for confused dieters is that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has passed a regulation requiring that trans fats be listed on food labels. The bad news is that the regulation doesn't take effect until 2006.

"Some companies have begun putting trans fat levels on their labels," the paper reports, "but for the most part only people who know what to look for can tell whether trans fats are in products."

Trans fat is created by infusing hydrogen into vegetable oil, and the problem is that creating an alternative with the same taste and texture is not an easy task.
KC's View:
It is stories like this one that point out the critical need for consumer education and information. There is so much competing and conflicting information out there, consumers need an advocate to help them sort through it all.

It seems to us that a retailer that has achieved a high level of credibility and competence can serve as that advocate…but it is a process that takes time. You can't just turn credibility on like a light bulb.