Tuesday, October 4, 2011

World's first "fat tax"

Baked potato and mushroom rösti with egg
Food Diary (October 04, 2011)
Breakfast: Granola with filmjölk
Dinner: Gnocchi with spinach

Today's Favourite Photo
Witches Fingers Halloween Finger Cookies

Today’s Favourite Blog
Denmark is to impose the world's first "fat tax" to reduce obesity and risk of heart disease. Starting from this Saturday, Danes will pay an extra US$0.45 on each pack of butter, US$0.12 on a pack of crisps, and an extra US$0.20 on a pound of mince. The tax is expected to cut consumption of saturated fat by close to 10pc, and butter consumption by 15pc.

I don’t know what these items cost in Denmark, I am guessing a kg of butter costs around US$8-10 so the extra that Danes will pay is high but not that high in comparison to the price of the item.

I am surprised that Denmark is the first country to impose fat tax considering that less than 10 percent of Danes are clinically obese. While obesity levels are relatively low I suppose that one of the intentions of the tax is to reduce chances of obesity levels rising.

I wonder whether this is a good idea. Recent studies are indicating that saturated fat is not that bad, and some studies also say that some saturated fats, butter included, is healthy. Whether saturated fats cause obesity and contributes to heart disease is probably not known for certain.

And it will be interesting to see if this tax works. Time will tell. The results will be very difficult to measure.

I suppose record levels of butter and other fats will be purchased before the price goes up on Saturday. And lot of butter will be crossing the border from Sweden in future.

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  1. I fully support a fat tax. Now give me a second helping of that mushroom rosti!

  2. There would probably be more of an uproar in countries with a higher obesity level. And I'd be ticked b/c it would increase my baking costs ;)

  3. Mmmm ... I love runny yolk.
    I have my doubts about fat tax working. Take our "sin tax" here on cigarettes and booze, people still buy them ... but then, those are addictive stuff. Hmm ... I may be wrong, it could work.

  4. I'm surprised they didn't tax bacon, some of the best bacon id Danish! Mmmm good memories.
    Take care...

  5. I've seen that fat tax yesterday at the news, imagine implementing that in US

  6. You have made me feel ashamed I have never made rösti (I live in Switzerland!). Thanks to you I know they can be baked (of course the huge amount of fat they absorb was the main reason I wasn't very keen on trying to prepare them).
    Taxing fat is weird... Crisps: I'm totally in favour, but fats as you say are good for our health in small amounts. I know someone who quit butter as the doctor told her to start eating butter in small amounts (it contains certain vitamins margarine and oil doesn't).
    I think our Western populations are so obese not because of the fat, but mainly because of sugar and carbs and also because of the general amount of food people eat. For example finding a nourishing, low-carb snack or dish in European restaurants or shops is totally impossible. I have a friend who was on a low-carb diet and she said only Asian restaurants and shops were the places where she could go for a good meal (of course salads don't count... they make you hungry very quickly).

  7. Hmmm I don't really think butter is the issue...at least not here in America! A fat tax on McDonald's though...now THAT would be useful!

  8. Hummm. I wonder if butter smuggling is going to become an issue? LOL! Seriously, not sure about this one? I am sure about that potato dish you have at the beginning of the post. It looks delish

  9. Parsley Sage: no fat tax on the rösti thankfully!

    Lizzy: exactly, and it would be almost a crime to switch to margarine!

    ping: I really doubt it too. People spend more money on alcohol than butter, and rising price of alcohol does not discourage consumption.

    Foodness Gracious: I think export prices for bacon will not be affected!

    Angsarap: that would be a big task, lot of protests…

    Sissi: I don’t know how the baked one compares with the authentic rösti (which I have never tried). But it has less oil! I also wonder whether butter is the cause of obesity. At least the government will collect more taxes and use the money for their Christmas party, consuming lots of meat and Danish pastries of course! The meals in most European restaurants are heavy for sure, starting with English breakfast!

    Joanne: McD’s already pays taxes and that’s not working and new ones are opening as we speak!

    Kitchen Belleicious: I think it will be legal to bring small amounts

  10. fingers - disgusting but oh-so-cool at the same time!

  11. ha ha I saw that witch's finger thing on Angie's blog. So awesome and creeeeeepppy...