Denmark to scrap world's first fat tax

November 10, 2012

Denmark said Saturday it would scrap a fat tax it introduced a little over a year ago in a world first, saying the measure was costly and failed to change Danes' eating habits.

"The fat tax and the extension of the chocolate tax—the so-called sugar tax—has been criticised for increasing prices for consumers, increasing companies' and putting Danish jobs at risk," the Danish tax ministry said in a statement.

"At the same time it is believed that the fat tax has, to a lesser extent, contributed to Danes travelling across the border to make purchases," it added.

"Against this background, the government and the (far-left) Red Green Party have agreed to abolish the fat tax and cancel the planned sugar tax," the ministry said.

Denmark's centre-left minority government is made up of the Social Democrats, Social Liberals and Socialist People's Party, and requires support from other parties to pass legislation in parliament.

The government and the Red Greens reached the agreement as part of their negotiations on the 2013 budget bill.

The previous right-wing government introduced the fat tax in October 2011 to limit the population's intake of .

According to the Danish and Medicines Authority, 47 percent of Danes are overweight and 13 percent are obese.

"Now we need to try to do something else to address public health," Food Minister Mette Gjerskov said, news agency Ritzau reported.

The fat tax has been levied on all products containing saturated fats—from butter and milk to pizzas, oils, meats and pre-cooked foods—in a costing system that Denmark's Confederation of Industries has described as a bureaucratic nightmare for producers and outlets.

The measure added 16 kroner per kilo of saturated fats in a product.

As an example, when the tax was introduced the price of a pack of 250 grammes (0.5 pounds) of butter rose by 2.20 kroner ($0.37, 0.29 euros) to more than 18 kroner.

Several said Saturday they would lower their prices accordingly once the tax is abolished, Ritzau reported.

Explore further: Obesity study shows fat tax is not the answer

Related Stories

Obesity study shows fat tax is not the answer

November 16, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- New research from the University of Reading suggests that a ‘fat tax' might not be the best way to tackle Britain's obesity problems.

Recommended for you

Low-fat or low-carb? It's a draw, study finds

February 20, 2018
New evidence from a study at the Stanford University School of Medicine might dismay those who have chosen sides in the low-fat versus low-carb diet debate.

Tobacco kills, no matter how it's smoked: study

February 20, 2018
(HealthDay)—Smokers who think cigars or pipes are somehow safer than cigarettes may want to think again, new research indicates.

Just a few minutes of light intensity exercise linked to lower death risk in older men

February 19, 2018
Clocking up just a few minutes at a time of any level of physical activity, including of light intensity, is linked to a lower risk of death in older men, suggests research published online in the British Journal of Sports ...

Women who clean at home or work face increased lung function decline

February 16, 2018
Women who work as cleaners or regularly use cleaning sprays or other cleaning products at home appear to experience a greater decline in lung function over time than women who do not clean, according to new research published ...

Calcium and Vitamin D supplements are not associated with risk of heart attacks

February 16, 2018
New research from the University of Southampton has found no association between the use of calcium or vitamin D supplementation and cardiovascular events such as heart attacks.

Study shows options to decrease risk of motor vehicle crashes for adolescent drivers

February 16, 2018
Adolescents who receive comprehensive and challenging on-road driving assessments prior to taking the license test might be protected from future motor vehicle crashes, according to a University of Alabama at Birmingham study ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

alfie_null
not rated yet Nov 11, 2012
Regarding obesity, Denmark's government should be concentrating their efforts on the next generation. There's not much you can do with people who are already obese - more so if they aren't even motivated (e.g. willing to travel across the border to satisfy their habit).

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.