At the beginning of this week, Denmark became the first country in the world to pass a tax on fatty foods. The Danes will be paying an extra $0.12 for a bag of chips and an extra $0.40 for a hamburger. Denmark’s parliament issued the tax based on an attempt to make the country’s life expectancy higher, although sources are unclear if it will even work. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 1/3 of adults in America are obese, meaning that their lives are at severe risk because of their weight. Leading to the question…should the U.S. consider a fat tax?
Fat taxes in America have been attempted but only at state levels, particularly on soft drinks. In the grand scheme of things, the taxes do not make people healthier. Taxes have been proved not to alter the behavior of the citizens it is forced upon. The clear advantage is an economical one, given the current state of today’s economy.
In our society, usually the low income people eat the majority of fatty foods, given that they are cheaper and far more accessible. Some feel that instituting a fat tax that would only make the people that need health care because of their diet less likely to afford it. The rich, however, would still be able to afford luxuries, such as organic food, and are less likely to be affected by the tax.
Whether the pros out weigh the cons or vice versa, Americans might never see a tax like Denmark’s on our fatty foods. One thing is for sure -- our butter, late-night pizza and family sized bags of chips are safe for now.
To read more about the fat tax: click here
To read more about weight problems in America: click here.