Denmark Adopts Tax To Encourage Healthier Eating

Denmark has instituted a tax on high fat food items in order to encourage healthier eating. The tax which came into effect on October 1st, 2011 is added to the price of products containing more than 2.3 percent of saturated fat. High fat foods are to be taxed at a rate of $2.86 per kilogram of saturated fat that is used in producing the item. This will raise the price of common foods such as butter, milk, and cooking oil, as well as certain pre-cooked food items.

With an estimated life expectancy of 77 years, Danish people have a considerably lower life expectancy than other Scandinavian nations such as Sweden, Finland, or Norway. Government officials hope that these taxation measures will change the eating habits of Danes, raising their life expectancy by an average of 3 years over the next decade.

The idea of taxing food high in saturated fat was first proposed by Copenhagen University. Denmark is believed to be the first country in the world to tax food high in saturated fat, although other “food taxes” already exist on items such as sugar, chocolate, and soft drinks.

Officials hope to study the impact of the tax on the eating habits of the Danish people, and will also assess the feasibility of the tax itself.

Although Denmark has a lower life expectancy, fewer Danes are obese than in other European nations. Other countries such as the UK are watching Denmark closely in order to determine whether the saturated fat tax would be a good solution for their population.

Consumption of food high in saturated fat is known to increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers.

Source: Medical News Today

Photo: Nillerdk. Wikimedia Commons. No endorsement implied.

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

Find a Treatment Facility Near You

Click on a state below to find eating disorder treatment options that could be right for you.

The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes and we encourage all visitors to see a licensed physician if they believe that they have an eating disorder. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

Copyright © 2008-2017
Company Information

© 2017 All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of's terms of service and privacy policy. The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.