Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Private profiles - please note that profiles marked as private will soon be public. This will facilitate moderation so mods can view users' warning histories. All of your posts across the site will appear on your profile page (including PI, RI). Groups posts will remain private except to users who have access to the same Groups as you. Thread here
Some important site news, please read here. Thanks!

Denmarks Fat Tax

  • 03-10-2011 3:38am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 4,035 Theresalwaysone


    http://www.independent.ie/breaking-news/world-news/denmark-introduces-food-fat-tax-2893870.html
    Denmark has imposed a "fat tax" on foods such as butter and oil as a way to curb unhealthy eating habits.

    The Nordic country introduced the tax, of 16 kroner (£1.84) per kilogram (2.2lbs) of saturated fat in a product.

    Ole Linnet Juul, food director at Denmark's Confederation of Industries, said the tax will increase the price of a burger by around £0.09 and raise the price of a small package of butter by around £0.25.

    The tax was approved by large majority in a parliament in March as a move to help increase the average life expectancy of Danes.

    Denmark, like some other European countries, already has higher fees on sugar, chocolates and soft drinks, but Linnet Juul said he believes the Nordic country is the first in the world to tax fatty foods.

    In September, Hungary introduced a new tax popularly known as the "Hamburger Law", but that only involves higher taxes on soft drinks, pastries, salty snacks and food flavourings.

    The outgoing conservative Danish government planned the fat tax as part of a goal to increase the average life expectancy of Danes, currently below the OECD average at 79 years, by three years over the next 10 years.

    "Higher fees on sugar, fat and tobacco is an important step on the way toward a higher average life expectancy in Denmark," health minister Jakob Axel Nielsen said when he introduced the idea in 2009, because "saturated fats can cause cardiovascular disease and cancer."

    Linnet Juul said the tax mechanism is very complex, involving tax rates on the percentage of fat used in making a product rather than the percentage that is in the end-product. As such, only the arrangements of how companies should handle the tax payments could cost Danish businesses about £18 million in the first year, he said.

    Linnet Juul's organisation is pressuring politicians to simplify the tax, but said he is unsure what will happen when the new, centre-left government takes office.

    Has anyone seen this? Thoughts?

    I really hope this isnt going to catch on. Ridiculous carry on from the Danes. I guess it goes to show how massively inadequate and uneducated people in all countries, at all levels, are about nutrition and specifically saturated fats.


«1

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,720 ✭✭✭✭ cormie


    I guess it has good intentions which is nice to see in itself, but I think a "crap tax" would work better, on any food which contains unnatural, harmful ingredients, which create far more toxins leading to the likes of cancer and disease. I wonder would the likes of organic cold pressed olive, avacado, flax, coconut oil etc be included in the tax?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,832 Blatter


    It wouldn't surprise me to see it catch on unfortunately.

    It's unreal that in 2011 we see a country like Denmark implementing such a ridiculous tax, and more worryingly, sending the wrong message out about sat fats.

    It's a farse.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,035 Theresalwaysone


    Its states in the article it will be imposed on the fat used in the production of the goods, not the finished product so I assume things like nuts, eggs etc aren't under pressure.

    The message being sent thought is crazy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,114 corkcomp


    its a daft idea IMO, mainly because I dont see it doing anything to solve the obesity problem. One thing I've noticed here is that a lot of ready meals are very high in cals and also very expensive but people still buy them. The issue of whether saturated fat is harmful or not is also not that black and white, it is not harmful in the way it is consumed by a lot of the folks posting here but it might be a different story if someone is already over weight, taking in too many calories and consuming sat fat from convenience / other crap foods.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 21,981 ✭✭✭✭ Hanley


    Instead of a fat tax, I have an alternative proposal.

    Labour camps.

    Think about it, it makes a lot of sense. They’re super fat so they need to exercise etc, but aren’t bothered, they eat crap and don’t try to make the change, so force both on them - They have to do manual labour while living in a camp with other fat people, all food and meals are supplied, and obviously they’re healthy. Give them kcal ration vouchers, so they can only eat up to a certain level - it would necessitate them being stamped with ID numbers to prevent the smaller, weaker fat guys having them robbed off them used by the alpha-fatties.

    They get skinny, we extract value thru their production and if planned right, the costs of housing and feeding them is offset by the stuff the produce. You could even incentivize it so the more they produce, the more they get to eat (and then they learn thru that that kcal intake should be tracked against kcal expenditure). I really don’t see why this proposal hasn’t been adopted yet.


  • Advertisement
  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,300 paulmclaughlin


    Hanley wrote: »
    Instead of a fat tax, I have an alternative proposal.

    Labour camps.

    Think about it, it makes a lot of sense. They’re super fat so they need to exercise etc, but aren’t bothered, they eat crap and don’t try to make the change, so force both on them - They have to do manual labour while living in a camp with other fat people, all food and meals are supplied, and obviously they’re healthy. Give them kcal ration vouchers, so they can only eat up to a certain level - it would necessitate them being stamped with ID numbers to prevent the smaller, weaker fat guys having them robbed off them used by the alpha-fatties.

    They get skinny, we extract value thru their production and if planned right, the costs of housing and feeding them is offset by the stuff the produce. You could even incentivize it so the more they produce, the more they get to eat (and then they learn thru that that kcal intake should be tracked against kcal expenditure). I really don’t see why this proposal hasn’t been adopted yet.

    Probably because you called them 'fat'. :pac::pac:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,049 discus


    Hanley wrote: »
    Instead of a fat tax, I have an alternative proposal.

    Labour camps.
    ....it would necessitate them being stamped with ID numbers ...I really don’t see why this proposal hasn’t been adopted yet.

    Your idea höss it's merits.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 2,255 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Black Sheep


    I heard a Danish minister discussing this on the radio earlier on. He actually said outright that they are hoping that Danish butter and dairy producers are going to have to move away from producing whole-fat products because of the taxes and envisage this having a positive effect not just domestically but in terms of their export markets to (i.e whether you like it or not you're going to only have the chance to buy Danish low-fat products etc). He said he wanted people to stop buying burgers and instead consider whether they should buy potatoes (seriously).

    The interviewer questioned him on salt levels, refined carbs and whatnot and suggested these might be other parts of the puzzle, but the minister didn't seem particularly interested. Said that approaches based around education had failed in other jurisdictions (which I agree is factually correct) and that they were going to press ahead with something new.

    Classic nanny statism. All the worse because it appears to be based on rather dated ideas about dietary fat?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,189 drdeadlift


    what happened to the safefoods crowd that were harping on earlier in the summer,did they take advice from boards or ignore?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,394 ✭✭✭ Transform


    anything that encourages a decrease in sugar and wheat = good

    decrease in saturated fats = you are still stuck in the fat is bad camp and you need to read the research


  • Advertisement
  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,763 Tigger


    Transform wrote: »
    anything that encourages a decrease in sugar and wheat = good

    decrease in saturated fats = you are still stuck in the fat is bad camp and you need to read the research
    Not an erdinger fan then?


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,972 ✭✭✭✭ SteelyDanJalapeno


    How ignorant can people be!

    eating fat does not equal getting fat,

    It's very unfortunate that they share the same name thou...


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,024 ✭✭✭ d'Oracle


    I'm suddenly struck by the memory of those Danish Bacon ads in the 80s and 90s.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,353 Sasquatch76


    Poor Jan Molby :(


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,917 Barry.Oglesby


    Those FGers want to do this here too. That condescending idiot Dr. James Reilly was all over the radio with his soundbites trying to sound like Winston Fvcking Churchill.

    Bottom line, if you agree with this then you don't understand free will, and you deserve whatever they come for next. Additional taxation hasn't worked for cigarettes, it hasn't worked for alcohol, and you can be sure it won't work for sugar either. People will still be overweight and obese they'll just be a little poorer and overweight and obese and the government will be scratching their heads wondering what went wrong and pump more good money into the healthcare system, or maybe come for red meat next.

    This is just another patronising step away from freedom of choice. People won't make good choices anymore because they won't understand how to choose. It's tyranny in the name of "health". You want to know how this is going without seeing the taxation first? Walk into any branch of McDonalds and see how many people are ordering one of their salads. I bet you could eat 8 Big Mac meals before someone did. You could cut the price of a salad by 3/4 and it'd still be the case.

    To think this is a good idea, you'd essentially have to forget everything the human race has learned about itself in the last 80 years. But if they do bring it in, they'll have plenty of support from the middle class twits of the year who love to talk about how lazy everyone else is and how their children just love the taste of courgettes. Why my Fuinneog doesn't know what a burger looks like whaw whaw whaw whaw.

    We should resist this with all of what's left of our democratic rights. No government has the right to tell you what not to eat or drink, or to set their price. But who am I kidding, this will fly through in the name of "Health".


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,189 drdeadlift


    nail on the head


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,489 sh1tstirrer


    It's amazing how the powers that be can solve all problems by taxing them. If they try to bring a tax like that in here (they have been talking about a tax on soft drinks and sugar) we should demand that all our politicians slim down first :rolleyes:


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,695 ✭✭✭ King of Kings



    We should resist this with all of what's left of our democratic rights. No government has the right to tell you what not to eat or drink, or to set their price. But who am I kidding, this will fly through in the name of "Health".

    joe higgins? is that you?


    personally I'm against a fat (or sugar ) tax - tax doesn't work and traps the poor into cycle of poverty , Ideally i would like a ban on certain food addditives -
    An less drastic alternative would be a "this is ****" lable on offending foods.

    BBC3 had a somewhat humerous series on what was in food - the name escapes me as I rant - but nonetheless the standard of what legallly can pass for food is shockingly low - in fact it's was (imo) morally low.

    I think legislation to ensure quality ingrediants would be a first step and may solve a whole lot of problems with the nations health.
    Alternative and cheaper ingrediants and preparation is (imo again) a bigger issue on health and obseity than fat/sugar content and to address that should be the primary issue.


    As a tax payer I'm upset at the cost of obseity (and smoking ) .
    by all means - let them have freedom to fill their bodies with ****e but allow me the freedom to refuse to pay for the consequences.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,375 columok


    Those FGers want to do this here too. That condescending idiot Dr. James Reilly was all over the radio with his soundbites trying to sound like Winston Fvcking Churchill.

    Bottom line, if you agree with this then you don't understand free will, and you deserve whatever they come for next. Additional taxation hasn't worked for cigarettes, it hasn't worked for alcohol, and you can be sure it won't work for sugar either. People will still be overweight and obese they'll just be a little poorer and overweight and obese and the government will be scratching their heads wondering what went wrong and pump more good money into the healthcare system, or maybe come for red meat next.

    This is just another patronising step away from freedom of choice. People won't make good choices anymore because they won't understand how to choose. It's tyranny in the name of "health". You want to know how this is going without seeing the taxation first? Walk into any branch of McDonalds and see how many people are ordering one of their salads. I bet you could eat 8 Big Mac meals before someone did. You could cut the price of a salad by 3/4 and it'd still be the case.

    To think this is a good idea, you'd essentially have to forget everything the human race has learned about itself in the last 80 years. But if they do bring it in, they'll have plenty of support from the middle class twits of the year who love to talk about how lazy everyone else is and how their children just love the taste of courgettes. Why my Fuinneog doesn't know what a burger looks like whaw whaw whaw whaw.

    We should resist this with all of what's left of our democratic rights. No government has the right to tell you what not to eat or drink, or to set their price. But who am I kidding, this will fly through in the name of "Health".

    Nice post.

    I would say that if we all expect free basic health care then those of us who do things that create a greater load on the healthcare should probably pay more than those who have a lesser load. Obviously this would require an actual measurable appreciation of what increases the load on the system and what doesn't. I've had many a debate with my OH about what differentiates my impact on the health-system from playing contact sports (and clogging up emergency rooms occasionally) from a recreational drinker or drug-user. David Nutt, for example, had interesting statistics about the relative statistical harm from horse riding vs. ecstacy.

    The libertarian no-tax argument only really works when we all pay for our own healthcare. Otherwise a small levy seems fair (no matter how much it rankles).


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,024 ✭✭✭ d'Oracle


    I think its a great idea.

    We have a responsibility to look after the daoine bocht.
    They are generally far to poorly educated to make the right food choices, so we need to force their hands. If the Big Mac becomes more expensive than brown bread or fruit and veg, then their little wallets will lead the way to healthier life choices.

    Where as people who are already making the right choices, won't loose out much and they can afford a few cent more on their butter or saturday morning treat.


  • Advertisement
  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 33,188 Mod ✭✭✭✭ pickarooney


    If they taxed junk food and used the revenue to directly subsidise healthier food and the promotion thereof it might be of some use but just making burgers dearer is not going to have any effect whatsoever.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,959 ✭✭✭✭ Gummy Panda


    If they taxed junk food and used the revenue to directly subsidise healthier food and the promotion thereof it might be of some use but just making burgers dearer is not going to have any effect whatsoever.

    In Ireland, I'd be doubt of that. The Irish proposal seems like just another revenue stream


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,917 Barry.Oglesby


    joe higgins? is that you?
    Yes muahahahahaha.
    An less drastic alternative would be a "this is ****" lable on offending foods.
    That hasn't worked on cigarettes. Y'know, I'm fairly sure that those guys who start smoking might have got wind of the bad press. I'm also pretty sure that people who consume highly processed foods and drinks might have heard some sort of vague whispers in the wind that they shouldn't be doing too much of it.
    BBC3 had a somewhat humerous series on what was in food - the name escapes me as I rant - but nonetheless the standard of what legallly can pass for food is shockingly low - in fact it's was (imo) morally low.
    Yes and this comes to the real nub of the issue. Rather than penalising and patronising consumers, why not control and regulate the industries better? Why not regulate the advertising? Advertising for so-called "health" foods is preposterous, trying to appeal to people's fear of illness with some low fat cardboard that's full of additives.
    I think legislation to ensure quality ingrediants would be a first step and may solve a whole lot of problems with the nations health.
    The food industry works in reverse. Rather than going out and asking the consumer what they want to eat, they look at the worldwide market and see what barely edible substance is cheap and abundant. Then they go to the labs in massive corporations like Nestlé and say "make me a food out of this stuff". Some stuff like corn and soy is pretty unpalatable in it's raw form, so through extreme processing they manage to render a sweet and unhealthy substance such as HFCS which can then be used in foods.

    The second stage is adding value to foods already in existence. Chicken, well that's expensive and no one "owns" chicken per sé, but if we grind this non-breast meat up, add some more corn (see where this is going?), additives, salt... oh lots of salt... and cover it in a breadcrumb (not actually made from bread) then we have a chicken-like product that we can market under our own name and that it will take the rest of the companies another 6 months to make a copycat product of; essentially we will own the market in crunchy-bready-chicken-crap for 6 months, and if we brand it right, we may even get the product named after us colloquially no matter who manufactures it. (think Chicken Dippers, or Corn Flakes, or Fruit Corners)

    Now you can say "oh but you don't HAVE to buy this stuff" and of course, you're right. But the problem is that this stuff can be frozen, cooked from frozen with little danger, takes minutes to prepare and has been scientifically designed to be palatable from the crunch, to the mouthfeel, and to the taste of course. This means that your kids will eat it with less fuss than having to chew a normal chicken breast, you can pop it in the oven while you're doing your ironing or the homework, you have little to no preparation time, and you have your family fed within 20 minutes. That all appeals to people who have little or no free time... the working parents who are collecting from childcare or school and only have 20 minutes, or who are heading out to work a nightshift, or who just don't know any better because they've missed out on the opportunities that the kind of person who has time to post on internet forums has had.

    Do I think this is always the case? No. Obviously some people are lazy and most people eat this stuff with full knowledge of what it is but just don't change their habits. Will making it more expensive help? No, not at all. But telling food companies that they cannot market food to kids might help, that they can't mislead the consumer with promises of health or "added omega 3" (the latest fad).

    Sorry for the long post but this is a particular bee in my bonnet.

    As a tax payer I'm upset at the cost of obseity (and smoking ) .
    by all means - let them have freedom to fill their bodies with ****e but allow me the freedom to refuse to pay for the consequences.
    As am I. Even if the taxation was direct (ie. it went directly to combating obesity) then essentially I'll be paying for someone else's healthcare directly. It's not like the direct taxation on cigarettes which went straight to lung cancer care, since I don't smoke, I never paid for that. I do however, like the odd tub of Ben and Jerry's, and I like biscuits, and chocolate. I also enjoy chocolate.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,375 columok


    Presumably its a levy Barry to offset the perceived cost of the poor health choice. Thats the supposed mechanism of smoking taxation.

    Edit: And since you've edited your post. How would you propose to pay for the public healthcare impact from someone making a stoopid life choice? I'm not arguing pro-taxation btw- just that I think this kind of direct taxation is part and parcel of a public healthcare system.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Politics Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 81,311 CMod ✭✭✭✭ coffee_cake


    This is just another patronising step away from freedom of choice. People won't make good choices anymore because they won't understand how to choose. It's tyranny in the name of "health". You want to know how this is going without seeing the taxation first? Walk into any branch of McDonalds and see how many people are ordering one of their salads. I bet you could eat 8 Big Mac meals before someone did. You could cut the price of a salad by 3/4 and it'd still be the case.

    In fairness, I think the calories in their salads are nearly the same as a big mac anyway :pac:

    I think the tax is a stupid idea. It's not educating anyone, it's going to be "just another tax", and at worst it's misinforming them about healthy foods.


  • Registered Users Posts: 546 ✭✭✭ fleet


    Denmark is a hyper conservative nanny state, and that's just the way they like it over there.

    We in Ireland like to think we hate the government telling us what to do. Over there they actually trust their gov enough to let them encroach, deeply sometimes, on what we'd consider civil liberties.

    - Income leveling
    - Folkeregister (one call to the gov and if, for example, you change address it's then passed on to the tax office, banks, utility companies, public libraries, etc.)
    DNS blocking at gov level of Pirate Bay etc.
    - Banned Marmite, Ovaltine etc 'cos their fortified with vitamins

    I should mention the massive social pressure and shame placed on on stay-at-home mothers. Danes prefer them to drop them off at a state creche and get back to work ASAP.

    I could go on, bhis isn't a criticism of the Danes. They just do stuff differently over there.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,917 Barry.Oglesby


    columok wrote: »
    Presumably its a levy Barry to offset the perceived cost of the poor health choice. Thats the supposed mechanism of smoking taxation.

    Edit: And since you've edited your post. How would you propose to pay for the public healthcare impact from someone making a stoopid life choice? I'm not arguing pro-taxation btw- just that I think this kind of direct taxation is part and parcel of a public healthcare system.

    Yes and I would agree if it wasn't for the fact that it's not a direct tax on a bad lifestyle choice. The coke I decide to have after training and eating well all day will be subject to the same levy as the 2 litre of coke someone consumes every day. I am entitled to eat what I wish without additional levies in the name of health. And I don't wish to pay for obesity care at all to be frank, though I recognise that I will have to and am currently.

    How about instead of paying for healthcare, we invest €1bn in a ground up effort to fund free basic cookery classes, and subsidised or even free-to-rent local markets for producers (there's enough empty town centre buildings).

    Much of the current issues are due to the fact that this is pretty much the second generation of convenience food consumers. In the 1980s, jars and packs of food and ready-meals were new to the Irish market. Mothers didn't know they were a poor substitute for food for the most part, they just knew they saved time and their kids liked to eat the stuff. So this is the first generation that hasn't had a history of mothers passing cooking tips and tricks to their daughters (and, to a lesser extent, sons) and some 20 odd year olds today may never have had the experience of seeing their mothers prepare a meal from the form of raw meat, herbs, spices, unpeeled veg, to a dinner. That's a huge cultural impact.

    Where does the €1bn come from? I don't know. But it seems to me to be a better idea to invest money in something that will have a positive impact then once again returning to the pockets and shopping bills of those people who have nothing left to give.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,375 columok


    Yes and I would agree if it wasn't for the fact that it's not a direct tax on a bad lifestyle choice. The coke I decide to have after training and eating well all day will be subject to the same levy as the 2 litre of coke someone consumes every day. I am entitled to eat what I wish without additional levies in the name of health. And I don't wish to pay for obesity care at all to be frank, though I recognise that I will have to and am currently.

    How about instead of paying for healthcare, we invest €1bn in a ground up effort to fund free basic cookery classes, and subsidised or even free-to-rent local markets for producers (there's enough empty town centre buildings).

    Much of the current issues are due to the fact that this is pretty much the second generation of convenience food consumers. In the 1980s, jars and packs of food and ready-meals were new to the Irish market. Mothers didn't know they were a poor substitute for food for the most part, they just knew they saved time and their kids liked to eat the stuff. So this is the first generation that hasn't had a history of mothers passing cooking tips and tricks to their daughters (and, to a lesser extent, sons) and some 20 odd year olds today may never have had the experience of seeing their mothers prepare a meal from the form of raw meat, herbs, spices, unpeeled veg, to a dinner. That's a huge cultural impact.

    Where does the €1bn come from? I don't know. But it seems to me to be a better idea to invest money in something that will have a positive impact then once again returning to the pockets and shopping bills of those people who have nothing left to give.

    Agree fully on the need to change people's thinking on food. In the 80s people took it on trust that science could make food better through labs and as you say we're reaping the reward now through a generation of people who cant and wont cook.

    Obviously I think a fat-tax is stupid as it is grounded in hysteria rather than science. However if crappy food is increasing the health bill you're gonna pay for it one way or another in the short term (regardless of good future incentives). It'll either be a broad swathe across the populace where its assumed you drink X (population average) number of bottles of coke or you can be directly taxed for presumably a smaller number. Again seems like its part of having a public healthcare system.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,387 ✭✭✭ Thud


    d'Oracle wrote: »
    I think its a great idea.

    We have a responsibility to look after the daoine bocht.
    They are generally far to poorly educated to make the right food choices, so we need to force their hands. If the Big Mac becomes more expensive than brown bread or fruit and veg, then their little wallets will lead the way to healthier life choices.

    Where as people who are already making the right choices, won't loose out much and they can afford a few cent more on their butter or saturday morning treat.

    they still won't make the right choices though, they'll just go for the cheaper 2% pork sausages or cardboard chicken remnant burgers


  • Advertisement
  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,117 SanoVitae


    Check out the movie "Fathead" by Tom Naughton.

    It pretty much covers every point Barry made so well in his earlier posts regarding free will and freedom of choice.

    You can see the trailers here ->
    http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/about/


Advertisement