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“Fat Tax” for Denmark

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The world’s first tax on unhealthy foods is to be imposed in Denmark, as the government urge the population to become healthier.

As of the 1st October, the population of Denmark will be charged a further 8p per packet of crisps, 30p on a pack of butter and 13p on 1lb worth of mince. It is expected that the government will see a revenue equivalent to £140m in return for a cut in consumption of unhealthy fats by 10% throughout the population.

Although under 10% of Danish people are diagnosed as clinically obese, the Danish Institute for Food and Economics suggest that approximately 4% early deaths could be due to high consumption of unhealthy saturated fats.

Given that upto 20% of British people are diagnosed as clinically obese, it is expected that this cause of premature deaths could be much higher. The Danish ‘fat tax’ could increase calls for a similar type of tax to be introduced in Britain.

Mike Rayner, Director of Oxford University’s Health Promotion Research Group stated, “Now we will be able to see the effects (of a tax on fatty foods) for real.”

He adds that regardless of government views, it could be the only way to solve the obesity crisis sweeping the UK and in turn save over 3000 lives a year.

Similarly, Hungary saw a tax on packaged foods with high levels of salt, sugar, carbohydrates and caffeine at the beginning of September.

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