No more Danish for overweight Danes. Denmark today began imposing a nationwide fat tax.
Although less than 10 percent of Danes are clinically obese, the country's Institute for Food and Economics estimates that close to 4 percent of Denmark's premature deaths can be traced to excess consumption of saturated fats.
Photo by Tobyotter via Flickr
So now Danes will pay extra for fatty foods.
While it might make Danes healthier -- the country's consumption of saturated fats is expected to be cut by 10 percent -- Denmark's fat tax also is expected to raise about 2.2 billion Danish Krone ($396 million U.S.).
"It's the first ever fat tax," said Mike Rayner, Director of Oxford University's Health Promotion Research Group. "It's very interesting. We haven't had any practical examples before. Now we will be able to see the effects for real."
State and federal lawmakers here in the United States also will be watching.
And recent attempts to add or increase taxes on sugary products, especially a tax on sodas, have fallen flat.
So given Americans' love of food and hate for taxes, don't look for a national fat tax here any time soon.
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