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

(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.

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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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