Denmark Implements ‘Fat Tax’ to Curb Unhealthy Choices
Denmark has become the first country to impose a tax on fatty food, says the Associated Press.
The new “fat tax” aims to curb unhealthy eating habits by taxing the amount of saturated food in a product.
Ole Linnet Juul, food director at Denmark’s Confederation of Industries, says the tax will increase the price of a hamburger by about $0.15 and the price of a small package of butter by about $0.40, reported the Associated Press.
The aim of the new measure, which was approved in March, is to increase the life expectancy of Danes, which is currently below the OECD average.
When introducing the idea in 2009, Danish health minister Jakob Axel Nielsen said, "Higher fees on sugar, fat and tobacco is an important step on the way toward a higher average life expectancy in Denmark,” because "saturated fats can cause cardiovascular disease and cancer."
Earlier this year Hungary implemented a tax referred to as the “Hamburger Law,” which taxes soft drinks, food flavoring, pastries, and salty snacks. Other European countries have implemented fees on sugar, chocolate, and soft drinks, but Denmark is believed to be the first country to implement a tax on fatty foods.