“Denmark is to impose the world’s first “fat tax” in a drive to slim its population and cut heart disease.” –The Telegraph, UK
Denmark has recently imposed a tax which applies a surcharge on food that contains high levels of saturated fats. Its goal is to curb obesity, reduce heart diseases and increase the Danes’ lifespan up to three years.
The new tax applies to food such as milk, butter, cheese, pizza, oil and meat. This means that consumers will be paying and additional 16dkk or almost $3 more for every 2.2 lbs. (1kg) of saturated fat in a product. This is an additional 15 cents for a burger or an additional 40 cents for a small pack of butter.
This new law was approved by a majority of the parliament last March, which came as no surprise since Denmark has already imposed a higher fee on sugar, chocolates and soft drinks. This Scandinavian country’s battle with trans fats and junk food have been ongoing since 2004 despite their low rate of obesity compared to other European countries.
“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.” This change will definitely cost businesses a lot of money in the first few years of implementation. Juul says that they are trying to negotiate with lawmakers to simplify the tax, but the results are indefinite. It will depend on the new government that will take office.