Denmark Implements 'Fat Tax' on Food

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Denmark's so-called 'fat tax' on foods such as butter and oil, went into effect Saturday as part of an effort to put an end to unhealthy eating habits by its citizens.

Although Danes also pay "sin taxes" on candy and soda, the fat tax is believed to be its first kind in the world, according to Ole Linnet Juul, food director at Denmark's Confederation of Industries.

The new tax will be the equivalent of about $1.29 per pound of saturated fat in a product. The tax is levied when a food's fat content exceeds 2.3 percent.

The Danish parliament approved the move to help increase the country's average life expectancy. The country hopes the measure will increase the average lifespan by three years over the next decade.

Other European countries, including Finland and Romania, are watching the Danish tax closely as they consider similar taxes.

In the U.S., advocates of sin taxes on soda don't seem to be getting close to having a tax passed, despite years of lobbying in Congress.

Annual sales of the sugar-sweetened drinks total approximately $88 billion in the U.S.

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