World’s First Food Tax

Danish PastryWell, it’s happened — Denmark has slapped a tax on foods with high amounts of saturated fats. The new tax, designed to help with the health of the country, by limiting the population’s intake of fatty foods, will add 16 kroner ($3) per kilo of saturated fats in a product.

Although well behind the US and India obesity rates, Denmark is being proactive. The Danes see their neighbors — France, UK, Amsterdam, etc getting fatter, and want to ensure the same will not happen to them by nipping the the problem in the bud — at least that is the attempt.

What would be taxed in India besides the obvious butter, ghee and cheese — everything fried of course, including samosas, pakoras, puris, gulab jamun, ladoos, but also pav bhaji for the amount of butter and even milk and milk products which use full fat milk.

It is more difficult to find foods with limited saturated fats on Indian menus. And, we can’t tax the vada pav stall owner, can we? Firstly he doesn’t pay tax at all, and the supposed tax would be passed on to the consumers.

People in Denmark are divided — some see that the tax as a step in the right direction to helping with the health of the nation, others feel it is unnecessary and makes staples such as butter and cheese more expensive. Considering world obesity rates however, it does open your eyes to the dangers of fatty foods and their correlation to obesity-related diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

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