Nutritionist Bonnie Minsky carries around a prop with her when she has speaking engagements: a cupcake. You wouldn't think that a dietitian would want to have a treat like this around her, especially since it is the processed, packed-in-plastic type of snack cake, but she uses it to make a point about the dangers of trans fats. You see, the Hostess cupcake that she carries is 25 years old. The plastic packaging didn't hold up too well, nor did the frosting, but the cake itself appears to be relatively undamaged.
The cake was intended to be an experiment from the beginning. She purchased the cake in 1981 and "let it site for a few months" to see what would happen. She also purchased an apple at the same time. Of course, the apple began to decompose in fairly short order, but nothing happened to the cupcake. She attributed the lack of change to the presence of partially hydrogenated oil - a.k.a. trans fats - because "the [other] ingredients in the cupcake are all real."
Minsky thinks that the recent moves in Chicago and New York, as well as other cities and countries around the world, to ban trans fats are a good idea. And after seeing what they can do to a cupcake, even if there is no definitive answer about what they do to your body, it doesn't seem like such a bad idea.