Denmark imposes 'fat tax' on food to curb obesity
Monday 03 October 2011
Denmark has become the first country in the world to impose a "fat tax" on unhealthy foods.
The move will place a surcharge on foods high in saturated fat. Butter, milk, cheese, pizza, meat, oil and processed food will all be subject to the levy.
The aim is to reduce people's intake of fatty foods. But consumers have begun hoarding provisions ahead of the price rise and some scientists have suggested that it would be better to target people's salt or sugar intake.
The Nordic country introduced the tax Saturday, of 16 kroner (£1.85) per kilogram of saturated fat in a product.
The tax was approved by large majority in a parliament in March as a move to help increase the average life expectancy of Danes.
In September, Hungary introduced a new tax popularly known as the "Hamburger Law," but that only involves higher taxes on soft drinks, pastries, salty snacks and food flavorings.
The outgoing conservative Danish government planned the fat tax as part of a goal to increase the average life expectancy of Danes, currently below the OECD average at 79 years, by three years over the next 10 years.
"Higher fees on sugar, fat and tobacco is an important step on the way toward a higher average life expectancy in Denmark," health minister Jakob Axel Nielsen said when he introduced the idea in 2009, because "saturated fats can cause cardiovascular disease and cancer."
Linnet Juul says the tax mechanism is very complex, involving tax rates on the percentage of fat used in making a product rather than the percentage that is in the end-product.
Linnet Juul's organization is pressuring lawmakers to simplify the tax, but said he is unsure what will happen when the new, centre-left government takes office. AP
- 1 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 3 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
Indian woman creates 'Marriage CV' after parents put her on dating site: 'Definitely not marriage material. Won’t grow long hair, ever'
Isis 'bulldozes' Nimrud: UNESCO condemns destruction of ancient Assyrian site as a 'war crime'
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Westboro Baptist Church couldn't picket Leonard Nimoy's funeral because they didn't know where it was
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...
£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...
£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...