fat tax

Fat Tax Spreading: France Follows in Denmark’s Footsteps

Chips, burgers, and soda are going to start costing extra around the world. Denmark became the first country to impose a tax on fatty foods last Saturday, and now France is following suit with a fat tax of their own.

The LA Times reports that the fat tax rate in Denmark is 16 Danish kroner per kilogram of saturated fat in a food (which works out to about $1.29 per pound of saturated fat). The fat tax will be applied to any food item that has a saturated fat content of more than 2.3%.

Ole Linnet Juul, the food director at Denmark’s Confederation of Industries, says that the fat tax will add about 12 cents to a bag of chips, 39 cents to a package of butter, and 40 cents to a hamburger.

France’s fat tax will concentrate on sugary drinks like Coca-Cola. France plans to raise around $150 million by adding a few pennies to every can of soda. France also recently announced that it was going to start rationing the amount of ketchup and mayonnaise used in school cafeterias.

Both France and Denmark say that the new fat taxes are being implemented to help curb the growing obesity problem. Unfortunately, there isn’t too much research on the results of a fat tax. Will people start shying away from fatty foods? Or will these governments get rich off of bad eating habits?

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, both France and Denmark have an obesity rate below the European average.

A French health ministry spokesman told the Daily Mail:

“We French may be among the least overweight in Europe but we have nothing to be complacent about. Obesity is rising as swiftly in France as it is in other EU countries and action must be taken before it gets any more serious.”

What do you think about the new fat taxes? Would the United States benefit from a tax on fatty foods?