Did you know?
In October 2011the Danish government took the bold step of introducing a tax on saturated fat in its efforts to improve the nation’s health. However, having been criticized for increasing prices for consumers and companies, and for putting Danish jobs at risk, the tax was scrapped in 2012. Plans to introduce a tax on sugar have also been abandoned
It was reported that some Danes had begun crossing the border into Germany and Sweden to stock up on cheaper meat and processed foods.
The tax was introduced in October 2011, in an attempt to limit the population’s intake of fatty foods, and reduce obesity rates. According to the Danish National Health and Medicines Authority, 47% of Danes are overweight and 13% are obese.
Despite the reasons given for scrapping the tax, it appears that no formal evaluation of the impact of the tax has been conducted. Accordingly, it is not possible to comment on what impact the tax actually had on consumer behaviour and costs to businesses and the economy. The decision came as a disappointment to public health advocates who have recommended taxes on unhealthy foods as a way of addressing the obesity-driven disease burden.
(1): CIA factbook
(2): WHO 2008
(3): IDF Diabetes Atlas, 5th edition annual update, 2012