BY JULIA CORDEROY
Fatty foods have joined cigarettes and alcohol when it comes to paying taxes in the name of better health. Well, at least in Denmark. Euronews has the word on the new policy...
"Denmark has introduced what is believed to be the world's first fat tax. Pizza, meat, cheese, butter and processed foods will be subject to the levy. Supermarkets reported empty shelves as consumers stocked up on their favorite foods, while others say they will just start buying abroad."
The tax will target foods containing more than 2.3% saturated fat. It hopes to increase the average life expectancy of the Danes - which is below the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) average at 79 years. But how much will this tax cost? Fox News has the answer...
"The new tax ... will add 16 kroner ($2.87, or 2.15 euros) per kilo (2.2 pounds) of saturated fats in a product."
Some - like the UK Public Health Minister -- argue, taxes aren't the solution. She tells the BBC...
"At the end of the day Government alone cannot tax there way out of this problem. It is about personal responsibility, people have to recognise the harm that they are doing to them self by being overweight."
But for others, Denmark is setting a good example. TIME says...
"According to a 2007 study by Oxford University's Health Promotion Research Group, if this fat tax were instituted in the UK, with tax breaks given on fruits and vegetables, up to 3,200 lives could be saved."
It's even hitting International headlines. An article on Australia's News.com.au reads...
"Health advocates are renewing calls for a 'fat tax' in Australia, after Denmark became the first country in the world to introduce one."
But will the real question is, will the tax actually reduce these vices? The Guardian quotes one Dane who doesn't think so...
"Knowing the Danes, it could have the opposite effect. Like naughty children, when they are told not to do something, they do it even more."
Fewer than 10% of Denmark are considered clinically obese, lower than the 15% European average.
Transcript by Newsy.