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Denmark Imposes The World's First 'Fat Tax'

Illustration for article titled Denmark Imposes The Worlds First Fat Tax

If you are in Denmark, go to the store and load up on as much junk food as you can right now, because your government is about to start charging the world's first "fat tax" in an effort to keep you thinner and healthier. Don't worry this is not a tax on fat people. It's only a tax on fatty foods, which the government has decided makes people obese and unhealthy. Here's what it will look like:

"Starting from this Saturday, Danes will pay an extra 30[pence] on each pack of butter, 8p on a pack of crisps, and an extra 13p on a pound of mince, as a result of the tax."

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First they came for the mince…But seriously, the tax is targeting products with saturated fat specifically, and the government expects it will cut fat consumption by 10 percent. That's probably not a completely terrible idea, but one hopes they understand that it's not just butter that is making people fat and sick? It's also plenty of other foods that are loaded with sugars and carbs and salt and all that-a fact which is reflected in Hungary's recent decision to tax foods with unhealthy levels of all those substances. So, one wonders if depriving a population of its butter and crisps (God, why is that word so much more charming than "chips"?) will really result in them being skinnier and healthier. We'll find out soon enough.

If it does work, the Telegraph says Denmark's experiment could pave the way for the UK to impose a similar tax, which would be terrible as it would endanger the consumption of those ever-so-delicious buttery scones. But regardless of the results in Denmark, you know one place that is never going to institute a fat tax? Sweden! They're currently eating so much butter there that they've got a shortage. They're so desperate for butter that they've had to import it from Denmark...Wait, have we just stumbled on some kind of Danish plot to destroy Sweden?! We know too much. Let us never speak of this again.

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Denmark Taxes Fatty Products [Telegraph]

Image via Jiri Hera/Shutterstock.

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DISCUSSION

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Seize: it's about ethics in gossip journalism

Hey, commenters. When you say that you understand taxing Cheetos and soda, but you don't understand taxing butter, you're displaying two, ahem, unsavory truths:

1) You lack the simple understanding of human nutrition that would show you that butter is, in fact, as "bad" as Cheetos and soda.

2) You don't mind taxing high-fat foods - so long as they're coded as low-class.