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Denmark's Fat Tax
Is the United States next in enforcing the “Fat Tax”?
On October 1, 2011, Denmark became the first country to issue a “fat tax” on certain foods to encourage healthy eating. Foods like butter, milk, cheese, pizza, meat, oil, and processed food are now subject to the tax if they contain more than 2.3 percent saturated fat (the artery-clogging kind), which roughly translates to 16 kroner ($2.90) per kg (2.2 lbs) of saturated fat in a product.
While the tax is not a huge amount, it will still increase the price of a burger by around $0.15 and the price of a small package of butter by around $0.40. As Denmark encourages its citizens to make healthier decisions, the world will be watching to see whether or not this tax in fact does affect obesity rates.
With obesity at an all-time high and 33 percent of the total U.S. population being obese, you can be assured the United States will be keeping an eye on the Nordic countries’ statistics to see if in fact people’s waistlines shrink, or if this causes people to resort to buying these items elsewhere cheaper.
As an interesting side note, did you know that one of the primary sources of fat in breast milk is saturated fat? It’s good for infants because it helps them absorb fat-soluble vitamins and allows them to get some of the fat needed for development. Should breastfeeding women be taxed as well then?
Do you think these taxes will help Denmark slim down? I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts!