Tax moves to make in October 2011
Last week at my other tax blog: FSAs ignored; IRS payment plan problems

Denmark imposes fat tax

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.

A matched set by Tobyotter 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.

Taxes here are frequently pitched as being imposed for the benefit of the public, such as higher tobacco and alcohol taxes, but few taxpayers really buy that.

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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How to diet

Why not to forbid poisoning people with tobacco and unhealthy food?? Not to tax them more, but to make them qualify their production (i.e. food) and to forbid tobacco for sure. Why it is still legal at all? Why do they still make money steeling them from the governments and Medicaid due to the sickness and deaths of us all? And overweight people must receive support from psychologists, ideologists, must receive discounts at gyms and etc. Let us feel that our society cares about us, wish us the best and does not despise us for our problem which we are not able to solve ourselves. That’s why we have it. And if you tax us for our body kilograms for Medicaid or plain tickets we will be much unhappier and less self confident. We will be even more ashamed of ourselves and will exercise and go out less, we will eat more and gain even more overweight. As Bild, the German newspaper, estimated that treatment for obesity-related illnesses cost Germany some £16 billion a year, so better spend that money for our wellness showing that you care, understand and help youself by helping us!

Jeff Fouts

"Fat Tax" is so interesting ideas. I really appreciate the kind of topics you post here. Thanks for sharing us a great information.

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