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Fat tax a body blow for Denmark

world Updated: Oct 05, 2011 01:29 IST

AP
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Denmark has imposed a “fat tax” on foods such as butter and oil as a way to curb unhealthy eating habits. The Nordic country introduced the tax on Saturday, of 16 kroner ($2.90) per kilogram of saturated fat in a product.

Ole Linnet Juul, food director at Denmark’s Confederation of Industries, says the tax will increase the price of a burger by around $0.15 and raise the price of a small package of butter by around $0.40.

The tax was approved by large majority in a parliament in March as a move to help increase the average life expectancy of Danes.

Denmark, like some other European countries, already has higher fees on sugar, chocolates and soft drinks. “Higher fees on sugar, fat and tobacco is an important step on the way toward a higher average life expectancy in Denmark,” health minister Jakob Axel Nielsen said when he introduced the idea in 2009.