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Danes to pay "fat tax" on junk food

Relaxnews / October 4, 2011

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(Relaxnews) - A worldwide movement to fight obesity with a "fat tax" is emerging, and Denmark is the latest to levy a new tax on junk food, adding about €1 in cost per pound (half a kilogram) of saturated fat to any food that contains more than 2.3 percent saturated fat.

On October 2, The Guardian in the UK reported on the tax, which is expected to raise some €165 million a year and cut fat consumption in the country by close to 10 percent. In addition to taxing junk foods such as bags of chips and cookies, foods such as milk, oils, meats, and precooked items such as frozen pizza will also be included, stated The Guardian. Denmark already banned the use of trans fats in 2004.

Hungary also imposed a fat tax -- also dubbed the "hambuger tax" -- at the beginning of September on junk foods high in sugar, salt, caffeine, and carbohydrates such as chips, energy drinks, chocolates, sweets, and soda. Proceeds will go to the country's health care costs.

Scotland and Ireland are now considering joining France and Hungary and slapping a controversial "sugar tax" on carbonated fizzy drinks.

Denmark's obesity rate is 10 percent, below the European average of 15 percent, according to the OECD.

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