A Fat Tax is a tax on fatty food, not fat people….


A fat tax is a tax or surcharge that is placed upon fattening foods, beverages or individuals….. a fat tax aims to discourage unhealthy diets and offset the economic costs of obesity.


A May British Medical Journal study found that ”fat taxes” would have to increase the price of unhealthy food by as much as 20 percent in order to cut consumption by enough to reduce obesity, and they should be paired with subsidies on fruits and vegetables so consumers don’t swap out one unhealthy habit for another.

The Washington Post


By Max Fisher and the Washington Post Foreign Staff

What the world can learn from Denmark’s failed fat tax

Posted by Olga Khazan on November 11, 2012 at 10:35 am

The Danish tax ministry announced Saturday that it’s scrapping a fat tax it introduced in October of last year, saying the measure has only increased companies’ administrative costs and caused Danes to venture across the border to purchase their unhealthy snacks.

“The fat tax and the extension of the chocolate tax, the so-called sugar tax, has been criticized for increasing prices for consumers, increasing companies’ administrative costs and putting Danish jobs at risk,” the Danish tax ministry said in a statement Saturday.
The Danish tax ministry said it was also cancelling plans to introduce a tax on sugar, the AFP reported.

In Denmark, the tax might have become too unpopular because it was seen as hurting food businesses. The Danish Food Workers Union told Food Navigator recently that the measure had led to a loss of 1,300 retail and manufacturing jobs there.

Denmark’s obesity problem is also far less severe than U.S.’s: 13 percent of Danes are obese, according to the Danish National Health and Medicines Authority, compared with more than 35 percent of Americans, so the consequences of abandoning the fat-tax initiative are arguably less dire there.

It could also be that Denmark’s tax was just high enough to become a nuisance for manufacturers — and to act as an incentive for cross-border cookie runs — without making a significant impact on how people actually eat.

What the world can learn from Denmark’s failed fat tax


Denmark to Abolish Fat Tax

By Jack Phillips
Epoch Times Staff Created: November 11, 2012 Last Updated: November 11, 2012

The Danish government on Saturday announced that it is getting rid of the world’s first tax on fatty foods because it cost too much and did not impact eating habits.

“The fat tax and the extension of the chocolate tax–the so-called sugar tax–has been criticized for increasing prices for consumers, increasing companies’ administrative costs, and putting Danish jobs at risk,” Denmark’s tax ministry said in a statement, according to AFP.

The ministry added that “it is believed that the fat tax has, to a lesser extent, contributed to Danes traveling across the border to make purchases.”

The fat tax, which was approved last year, was applied to foods that contain more than 2.3 percent saturated fat, according to The Metro. Processed foods, dairy, and meat were taxed.

Some supermarkets have said that after the tax is done away with, they will lower their prices on such foods.

Denmark to Abolish Fat Tax



1  Food manufacturers claim Denmark proves fat taxes dont work
UK food manufacturers claim Denmark’s decision to drop its fat tax and shelve plans for a sugar tax prove that such measures don’t work.

2  Scrapping ‘fat tax’ on Denmark budget agenda
The idea of scrapping tax on sugary and fatty food and drink has been with the Danish Food & Allied Workers Union (NNF), had campaigned for both taxes


Fat tax: Denmark’s answer for unhealthy foods

Fat tax – imposed on butter, oil, other fatty foods – could be world’s first. Denmark’s fat tax would raise price of a hamburger by 15 cents; small package of butter, 40 cents.

By Associated Press / October 8, 2011

Butter for sale in Copenhagen, Denmark, earlier this week. On Oct. 8, 2011, the nation imposed a tax on fatty foods, including butter, which some Denmark officials are calling the world’s first fat tax.

Francis Joseph Dean/Dean Pictures/Newscom

Denmark has imposed a “fat tax” on foods such as butter and oil as a way to curb unhealthy eating habits. The Nordic country introduced the tax Saturday, of 16 kroner

Tax aims to prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, by dissuading saturated fat consumption Read more by Ryan Jaslow on CBS News’ HealthPop.

www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20114811-10391704.html – Cached


Denmark taxes fatty products Denmark is to impose the world’s first “fat tax” in a drive to slim its population and cut heart disease.



Chew the fat on a sugar tax to trim waistlines

July 20, 2012
Jessica Irvine

Jessica Irvine

Economics Writer for The Sydney Morning Herald

You are what you eat, they say. If so, Australians are shaped rather like a takeaway container filled with booze and meat, with nary a vegetable in sight.

Illustration: Simon Letch

Two reports released this week highlight the dire state of the nation’s nutrition. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s report, Australia’s Food and Nutrition 2012, found 91 per cent of adults do not eat enough vegetables and only half eat enough fruit. One in five drinks alcohol at risky levels.

Households spent an average of $237 a week on food and beverages in 2009-10. By far the biggest component of spending was on food prepared outside the home, at restaurants and takeaways, where the average outlay was $63 a week. In second place was spending on alcoholic drinks, $32 a week, followed by meat, fish and seafood, $30 a week.

Australians spent just a few dollars more a week on fruit, nuts and vegetables than they did on condiments, confectionery, food additives and prepared meals.

So how’s that working out for us? Not so well, it seems.

In another section of its report, sensitively titled ”We’re getting fatter”, the institute finds 36 per cent of adults are overweight and a further 25 per cent obese. And we’re starting young. Of children two to 16 years old, 17 per cent are overweight and a further 6 per cent obese. That’s nearly one in four children with a weight problem.

Our increasingly sedentary lives are part of the problem, but this is swamped by the increased consumption of calorie-dense but nutrient-poor foods.


Will a fat tax make Denmark healthier?

Posted by at 09:47 AM ET, 10/04/2011

Over the weekend, Denmark became the first countryto tax saturated fats.


Denmark’s tax is the first of its kind in other ways. “This is a major development for two reasons: It’s an entire country, and they’ve taken on a particular part of the food supply,” says Kelly Brownell, director of Yale’s Rudd Center on Food Policy, who is widely credited with introducing the idea of a soda tax in the 1990s.


One thing we do know about food taxes is that they have to be really high to change behavior. Brownell and Tom Frieden, now director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote in a 2009 New England Journal of Medicine article that the 5 percent taxes on unhealthy foods that states tend to pass just don’t cut it. Brownell’s research has found it takes a 1-cent-per-ounce tax to change behavior; anything lower, will do great at bringing in revenue but likely won’t lower soda consumption.

In reducing fat consumption, the bar may prove to be even higher: While soda isn’t generally thought of as a meal, solid foods are a different ballgame, what people eat when they sit down to dinner or lunch. And what little research we have on fat taxes bears this out. A 2007 study form the Forum for Health Economics and Policy modeled the impact of a 10 percent fat tax on dairy products and found unimpressive results.

“Such a tax results in less than a 1 percent reduction in average fat consumption,” the authors found. “To have a substantial effect, the tax rate would have to be quite high. For example, a 50 percent tax only lowers fat intake by 3 percent.”

Moreover, the authors worried that a fat tax would be quite regressive, hitting lower-income families much harder than higher earners. “The welfare loss to a family earning $20,000 is nearly double that of a family earning $100,000,” they found.

Moreover, the authors worried that a fat tax would be quite regressive, hitting lower-income families much harder than higher earners. “The welfare loss to a family earning $20,000 is nearly double that of a family earning $100,000,” they found.

Since the Danish tax covers foods with higher fat content at a greater rate, its impact could be all over the board. It may reduce the consumption of really high-fat foods, but not those with a fat content. Denmark’s Confederation of Industries calculated that the tax adds 12 cents to a bag of chips, 39 cents to a small package of butter and 40 cents to the price of a hamburger.

Denmark’s tax is, in Brownell’s view, an important “bellwether:” He believes it will test both whether the policy works, as well as the political appetite for such levying such fines.

“If foods with saturated fats now cost more, you don’t know what people will eat in their place. The hope is they’ll eat healthier things.”

As we watch the effect of Denmark’s new tax, we’re about to find out.

The tax — 16 Danish kroner per kilogram of saturated fat in a food – works out to about $6.27 per pound of saturated fat. It hits all foods with a saturated fat

www.washingtonpost.com/…a-fattax-make-denmark…blog.html – Cached


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