October 3, 2011 10:36 AM Subscribe
Denmark introduces world's first food fat tax.
'Denmark has introduced what is believed to be the world's first fat tax
- a surcharge on foods that are high in saturated fat. Butter, milk, cheese, pizza, meat, oil and processed food are now subject to the tax if they contain more than 2.3% saturated fat.'
'The Nordic country introduced the tax Saturday
Oct. 1, of 16 kroner ($2.90) per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of saturated fat in a product. Ole Linnet Juul, food director at Denmark’s Confederation of Industries, says the tax will increase the price of a burger by around $0.15 and raise the price of a small package of butter by around $0.40.
The tax was approved by large majority in a parliament in March as a move to help increase the average life expectancy of Danes.'
'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.'
'The move has parallels elsewhere in Europe. Hungary has recently imposed a tax on all foods with unhealthy levels of sugar, salt and carbohydrates, as well as goods with high levels of caffeine
. Denmark, Switzerland and Austria have already banned trans fats, while Finland and Romania are considering fat taxes.
But it is Britain which has the biggest obesity problem in Europe, and campaigners have urged the government to follow Denmark's lead.'
'Fewer than 10% of Danes are obese, below the 15% European average
, according to the OECD. Britain's rate is 24.5%.'