There’s no disputing that fatty foods impact your health – and your waist line, but in Denmark, they are about to impact something else too. Your Wallet.
As part of a campaign to promote healthier diets, the Danish Government has introduced a ‘Fat Tax’ on all foods that exceed 2.3% saturated fat – but the tax isn’t exactly straight forward.
The higher the fat content in the food, the higher the tax imposed – and it’s not limited to just candy, fast foods and snack items. Under the new tax law, butter, full fat milk, oil and even meats will be taxed.
As diseases directly related to high fat diets, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer spiral out of control in Denmark, so does its health care costs. In a country where the government is footing the medical bills, it isn’t surprising to see taxes such as the ‘fat tax’ popping up to subsidize the lasting impact of poor diets on the health care system.
Danish citizens have two systems of health care: public medical care provided free of charge by the individuals choice of government provided health care professionals – or complete freedom of choice of any physician or specialist, with state reimbursement of about two-thirds of the cost for medical bills paid directly by the patient. Most Danes opt for the former – with the government footing 100% of the bill.
The tax went into effect on Saturday, and will cost the Danish tax payer about $6.27 per pound of saturated fat (16 Danish Kroner per kilogram)
Would you support a similar measure in the United States? Would it change the way you eat?