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Denmark First Country To Legalize ‘Fat Tax’

Denmark began enforcing a tax increase on foods with 2.3 percent of more saturated fat, like butter, much to the Danes' chagrin.

Denmark will become likely the world’s first country to impose a tax on foods with high saturated fat.

The “fat tax” will affect foods with more than 2.3 percent saturated fat, like butter, cheese, milk, oils and meats. Sixteen kroner ($2.90 U.S.) will be levied per kilogram (2.2 pounds.)

Introduced by health minister Jakob Axel in 2009, the law is designed to combat obesity and heart disease.

Danes are not taking too kindly to the tax.

The night before the law went into effect, Danes emptied grocery shelves of high-fat foods, including the much-beloved butter.

Many call the law akin to “Big Brother” watching what they eat.

Denmark only has about a 10 percent rate of obesity, and it could be in part of its regulations.

In 2004 Denmark imposed a law making any food item with more than two percent trans fats illegal, and in 2010 increased taxes on ice cream, chocolate and other sweets by 25 percent.

Denmark’s 10 percent rate compares with one third (33.8 percent) of U.S. adults who are obese, and 17 percent of children and adolescents who are obese.

Read More:

  • Body blow for butter-loving Danes as fat tax kicks in (The Guardian)
  • Denmark Introduces ‘Fat Tax’ on Foods High in Saturated Fat (ABC News)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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