UK considers “fat tax”

The UK government is considering introducing a ‘fat tax’ similar to Denmark, according to Prime Minister David Cameron.

Denmark introduced its levy on foods containing more that 2.3 per cent saturated fat on 1 October.

Cameron told Channel 5 at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester that a similar tax on unhealthy foods is being considered.

"I think it is something that we should look at," he said.
Foods included in Denmark’s tax are some meats, cheese, butter, and potato-based snacks.
The UK’s Department of Health said today that it had "never ruled out a ‘fat tax’ but we keep all international evidence under review".
"We are working with food companies to reduce fat, sugar and salt and ensure healthier options are available."

But UK industry trade body The Food and Drink Federation, has expressed doubt over the success of the tax, saying it would negatively impact families on low incomes
"Many foods are already taxed and plans to further tax food will be felt hardest by those families who can least afford higher food prices," a spokesperson said.

Earlier this month Australia’s peak body for the food industry slammed suggestions Australia should follow in the footsteps of Denmark and introduce a tax on fatty foods.

“Food taxes are regressive as they penalise people who can least afford it – fat taxes were also dismissed by last year’s Henry Tax Review,” Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) chief executive Kate Carnell said.

“Taxing dairy products also does not make sense as people should be encouraged to eat more calcium in their diets rather than less.”

Recent figures show one in four Australian children is overweight or obese.

Image: The Daily Fork

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