October 3, 2011
Denmark has become the first country in the world to impose a “fat tax” on unhealthy foods.
The move will place a surcharge on foods high in saturated fat. Butter, milk, cheese, pizza, meat, oil and processed food will all be subject to the levy.
The aim is to reduce people’s intake of fatty foods. But consumers have begun hoarding provisions ahead of the price rise and some scientists have suggested that it would be better to target people’s salt or sugar intake.
The Nordic country introduced the tax Saturday, of 16 kroner (£1.85) per kilogram of saturated fat in a product. The tax was approved by large majority in a parliament in March as a move to help increase the average life expectancy of Danes.
In September, Hungary introduced a new tax popularly known as the “Hamburger Law,” but that only involves higher taxes on soft drinks, pastries, salty snacks and food flavorings.