Why a fat tax is the best way to save the NHS billions
For a country whose best-known exports include bacon and pastries, it might sound like an act of economic suicide. But yesterday Denmark became the first country in the world to impose a tax on fatty foods.
Any food with a saturated fat content of more than 2.3 per cent will be taxed at a rate of 16 kroner (£1.85) per kilogram of saturated fat. The move will add the equivalent of 25p to a pack of butter and 8p on a pack of crisps.
The move will rekindle demands in Britain, which has far higher rates of obesity than Denmark, for a similar tax.
Indeed, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has already called on Britain to introduce such a tax, and last year, the Food Standards Agency was reported to be considering launching a consultation on a fat tax in Britain, although later denied it had reached a decision on the issue.
Of course, the idea of a fat tax has been attacked as yet one more example of the nanny state in operation. Yet the truth is that taxpayers are already paying dearly to treat Britain’s growing numbers of obese hospital patients.
When the Government Office of Science published its Foresight report into tackling obesity in 2007, it estimated the direct cost to the NHS of treating obesity at £4.2 billion — around 4 per cent of the total health budget. Full Story HERE
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