Danes Launch Fat Tax

$1.32 added for each pound of saturated fat in foods
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2011 2:12 AM CDT
Updated Oct 3, 2011 4:57 AM CDT
Danes Launch Fat Tax
Despite a low national obesity rate, Denmark has instituted a "fat tax" against food with high amounts of saturated fats.   (©Tobyotter)

(Newser) – An extra 39 cents on a pack of butter. Twelve cents on a bag of chips. Denmark has become the latest country to levy a "fat tax" (Hungary has a similar one), adding about $1.32 in cost per pound of saturated fat in any food that contains more than 2.3% saturated fat, reports the Guardian. The tax is expected to raise some $220 million a year and cut saturated fat consumption by close to 10%. The country already banned the use of trans fats in foods, back in 2004.

Ironically, despite Danes' reputation for being big fans of butter and bacon, the country is relatively slim, with a 10% obesity rate, well below the European average of 15% (not to mention the United States' 33%). "All these things need to be looked at, but saturated fats have a higher calorie content than carbohydrates. I don't think you can do everything all at once," said a doctor who used to be chairman of a national obesity group. (Read more Denmark stories.)

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