Denmark slaps consumers with "fat tax" in world first

A woman sits at the water's edge.


Matt Cardy

Saturated fat now has implications for the hip pocket, as well as the belly – but it's left a sour taste for some, after Denmark became the world’s first country to levy a tax on fatty foods.

Consumers hoarded butter, pizza, meat and all manner of lardaceous goods in the days leading up to the tax’s implementation, to avoid being made to cough up straight away.

Under the so called “fat tax”, 16 kroner ($2.87) per kilo of saturated fat will be added to the price of a product.

The BBC reports that food will be subject to the tax if it contains more than 2.3 percent saturated fat.

(Read more on GlobalPost: Denmark's tariff will raise millions and cut girth)

The levy was designed by the Danish government to limit the population’s intake of fatty foods, with the country’s Confederation of Industries warning the move will be a bureaucratic nightmare for producers and outlets.

Spokeswoman Gitte Hestehave told Agence France-Presse that the cost of levying the tax would be passed on to consumers.

She said setting prices on goods would be tricky, as it will require declarations from producers both as to how much saturated fat a product contains, as well as that used during its preparation.

The way that this has been put together is an administrative nightmare, and I doubt whether it will give better health. It’s more just a tax.

The BBC reports that some scientists say that saturated fat may be the wrong target (let’s not forget the Atkins diet), and that salt, sugar and refined carbohydrates are the bigger culprits when it comes to making people fat.

Surely food for thought.

In Lifestyle & BeliefLifestyleScience, Tech & EnvironmentWeird Wide Web.

Tagged: Europe.