A First For Denmark

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Oct 4, 2011    •    583 Views

Denmark just became the first country in the world to have a fat food tax. That means butter, milk, pizza, any food with more than 2.3% saturated fat content is more expensive. To be precise, for every 2.2 pounds (one kilogram), the tax is $2.90 (16 kroner). Predictably, in response, demand soared for fatty foods just before the tax went into effect.

This was not a policy reverse. Denmark had already increased taxes on chocolate, other sweets, sugary drinks and alcohol while limiting trans fats.

And they are not even as overweight as we are. The obesity rate in Denmark is close to 10% while the ratio is closer to 1 in 3 for adults in the U.S.

Here, more on how Denmark is regulating what its citizens eat.

The Economic Lesson

If a society pays all or part of the health care expense for its citizens, should the opportunity cost be individual freedom?

An Economic Question: Some people say that sales taxes are unfair because they are regressive; those who earn less have more of a burden. Your opinion?

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