Last week Denmark made news for imposing a tax on foods containing saturated fat. Although Danes have a low obesity rate (just 10% of the population), government health officials say this tax will help reduce the problem even further.
Denmark’s new tax will be based on the amount of saturated fat in foods. According to the Washington Post: “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 content above 2.3 percent. Danes reportedly began hoarding butter and other fatty products before the new regulation kicked in.”
Proponents of the tax have targeted saturated fat as a health risk, while opponents say the tax targets ALL food (such as lean meats and dairy products), not just unhealthy ones.
Many are watching Denmark’s “fat tax” to see if it’s successful and if it can work here in the U.S.
But should we?
Some argue that a “fat tax” would hit low-income households the hardest because they are the most likely to eat cheap, unhealthy foods, (Mrs. Obama is apparently against a tax), while others feel it might get people to eat better. Without offering cheap, healthy options, however, I fear a “fax tax” will just be yet another burden placed on our most fragile households.
But what do you think? Should America institute a “fat tax” on unhealthy foods?
Let’s talk about it!