Fat Tax in Denmark: Melancholy Danes Have One More Reason to be in Bad Mood

Denmark has followed Hungary's lead in imposing taxes of certain types of magical foods that make people fat:

The new tax, designed by Denmark’s outgoing government in an effort to limit the population’s intake of fatty foods, will add 16 kroner ($2.87, or 2.15 euros) per kilo (2.2 pounds) of saturated fats in a product.

For example, according to the AFP, the tax will increase the cost of 250 grams of butter by 2.20 kroner, to more than 18 kroner....

The new tax will be levied on all products including saturated fats -- from butter and milk to pizzas, oils, meats and pre-cooked foods -- in a costing system that Denmark’s Confederation of Industries (DI) says is a bureaucratic nightmare for producers and outlets.

The predictable result was hoarding of pizza, butter, and who knows what else. Some years ago, Denmark banned trans fat, but I guess the place is still getting fatter so they had to take the nannyism up to the plus-sized department. The country has been taxing soda pop for a while too as well as candy bars for almost 100 years.

And yet such taxes haven't seemed to work. But surely this new tax will have the desired effect and the legendary thick ankles of the Jutland will become as svelte and shapely as those in sub-Saharan Africa.

More here.

More about Denmark's trans-fat-expressway to your heart (and thighs).

And Reason on obesity.

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  • Suki||

    At least they are not launching SWAT raids on fat eaters . . . yet.

    Good morning reason!

  • ||

    No, I prefer drones. Much tidier.

  • Ed||

    Really, Barry? Have you ever tried to clean up an explosion of fat?

  • ||

    "Pfft, ain't my kitchen."
    -B.O. responding to Ed's Question

  • Hugh Akston||

    Denmark banned trans fat, but I guess the place is still getting fatter so they had to take the nannyism up to the plus-sized department. The country has been taxing soda pop for a while too as well as candy bars for almost 100 years.

    You know, a certain type of hide-bound ideologue nihilist might look at this and wonder if bans and taxes are really an effective means of combating obesity.

  • ||

    with some follow-up wondering of if controling peoples' weight is the goal at all.

  • ||

    With some follow-up-follow-up wondering why controlling people's weight is the government's business.

  • Turnkey||

    Easy - because the government pays for healthcare & education, so individual poor choices in health impact the vested interest the government has in that person.

    Its like investing money to buy mining rights, and then invading the country to enforce them.

  • ||

    Wouldn't banning cars, buses, and trains be a more effective way to make fatso's lose weight?

  • ||

    Fatsos, not fatso's.

  • ||

    I stand corrected. I still say that big brother should make the fatties walk - or maybe row some cool Viking ships.

  • ||

    That'll whip 'em into shape!

  • You're that pathetic?||

    Your life is so meaningless, and your time so worthless, that you actually use it to correct THAT...

  • shut the fuck up||

    you sniveling prick.

  • the fuck||

    what did i do?

  • ||

    Don't forget elevators. Ban those elevators, and make the fatties carry all your furniture up to the 20th floor.

    And now that you've rolled back your transport technology to circa-1808, run frequent public service announcements on TV so your people will know this is all because you care so much about them and their health, and no, it has nothing to do with hatred of fat people. Nothing whatsoever (you disgusting fat slobs)!!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I say we take off and ban the fatties from orbit.

  • Brian Combs||

    It's the only way to be sure.

  • Steve||

    Ugh. Saturated fat is not even bad for you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exi7O1li_wA

  • Nils||

    "Not even bad" is understating it. It's downright healthy.

  • ||

    Correct. I lost over a hundred pounds in 8 months in 2004 when I changed my diet from high-carb (and feeling like I was starving) to high-fat. I eat as much as I want, and I've lost 30 more in the 7 years since.
    My doctor loves the great bloodwork results. He calls it my "Barbecue Diet" because of my cooking habits: brisket, pork shoulder, back ribs, spare ribs, short ribs, rib-eyes, strips, sirloin, 80/20 ground beef...

    And it stands to reason, meat, including high-fat organ meat and marrow, have been a major portion of our food for at least 2 million years. Grains have occupied that kind of spot for less than 10 thousand, to be generous. That more than 200 to 1. Which food are we more likely to be well-adapted to?

  • ||

    it's the Caveman Diet. Man's diet was high on animal protein and fat, plus whatever plants could be consumed. No grain, no bread, no pasta, no processed stuff. Also no beer and no bourbon, but what do you do..

  • ||

    This is a fail on so many levels, not the least of which is that saturated fat has not been shown to cause heart disease or obesity. It's the carbs, esp. refined starches and sugars. No one pigs out on saturated fat, unless it is combined with refined carbs.

  • So, you're a moron?||

    "No one pigs out on saturated fat"

    Bacon says fuck you.

    "It's the carbs, esp. refined starches and sugars."

    No fuckwit, it isn't.

  • ||

    Bacon is cured with sugar. If it wasnt people wouldn't pig out on it because it wouldn't taste so good.

    If you can't be bothered to read up on the subject I won't respond to your second statement.

    BTW who shit in your oatmeal this morning?

  • Zeb||

    Bacon is not necessarily cured in sugar. It is the umami flavor and salt that makes it so irresistible.

  • ||

    Im sure there is bacon out there that is not cured with sugar (that includes honey, molasses, corn syrup, maltose, etc) but I've never seen any in stores.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    His oatmeal has perpetual shit in it, Pablo.

  • ||

    You need to checkout MaryAnn's Bacon, down in the Bacon District. Boutique Bacon at Bargain-Basement Bacon prices.

  • ||

    You know that best thing about Marry Ann's Bacon, don't you?

  • ||

    She gets in the bacon with you? Wait, that doesn't make sense....ummmm, I got nuthin.

  • Ska||

    Hank Scorpio you beautiful evil genius, you!

  • Zeb||

    Yes, but except for the sweet maple stuff, the sugar is not a big part of the cure and not a major flavor or nutritional component. Look at the nutrition information, 0g carbohydrate (i.e.

  • Zeb||

    Stupid less than.
    ANyway, I agree with you about nutrition. Just bacon isn't a good example.

  • ||

    Eden Farms bacon is uncured and is the best damn bacon I've ever had, by a mile.

  • So, you're a moron?||

    "Bacon is..."

    Just shut the fuck up ok asshole?

    Stop posting your idiotic opinion about what other people eat, especially when it's patently false, as others and I have demonstrated.

  • ||

    "Bacon is..."
    ------------------
    1) ....the sign of all that is good
    2) ....what separates us from the other animals
    3) ....the reason why vegetarians/vegans always look pissed off. And hungry. They want it, too, but can't.
    4) ....a key to expanding your vocabulary beyond sophomoric name-calling, unless of course you are still sophomoric.

  • ||

    the reason why vegetarians/vegans always look pissed off.

    I think you can add Muslims to that list.

    And Jews.

  • ||

    I don't know if Gwaltney bacon is available in your market, but it's been my favorite since the 1970s. It has zero grams of carbs.

    And I can pig out on all sorts of foods. But I don't crave them like I used to with carbs. And I don't gain weight on fat and protein and high-fiber vegetables like I did on carbs.

  • Jordan||

    No fuckwit, it isn't.

    The Lipid Hypothesis originated from a fraudulent study and has not been proven since.

  • So, you're a moron?||

    Nobody mentioned the lipid hypothesis, cunt.

  • Jordan||

    Actually, the very post you responded to did though not by name, dipshit. Learn to do some fucking research.

  • NotSure||

    Since it is a nanny state why not get over with already and pass the broccoli act, every citizen by law has eat broccoli every day, for the common good.

  • ||

    You're just shilling for Big Vegi.

  • ||

    Big Broc

  • ||

    HUGE gas.

  • Abdul||

    North Korea is still the model nation as far as fat taxes go.

  • So, you're a moron?||

    I suppose if you tax them enough, they'll only be able to afford a few hundred calories, and therefore you get less obesity.

  • Hugh Akston||

    You know, sometimes this place attracts hardworking, inspired trolls. But most of the time we end with an itchy case of blog crabs like you.

  • ||

    It's time to shave the blog's crotch.

  • T||

    And you're just the man to do it.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Actually, I think that's part of the interns job description.

  • So, you're a moron?||

    Ooooh blog "crabs", how 7th grade.

  • ||

    yes, not nearly as grown up as asshole, cunt, and fuckwit.

  • Jordan||

    Why not just skip straight to rations? Nobody ever got obese on rice and water.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Mmmm ... Victory Gin!

  • BakedPenguin||

    And they recently increased the rations from 10 ounces a week to 30 ounces a month!

  • ||

    Doubleplusgood!!!!!

  • ||

    "Well you'll work harder
    With a gun in your back
    For a bowl of rice a day
    Slave for soldiers
    Till you starve
    Then your head is skewered on a stake."

  • Doctor Whom||

    It'll work this time, just like the jobs bill.

  • ||

    What in hell is that a picture of?

  • BakedPenguin||

    It's some Oxfam / sackcloth-and-ashes guilt trip "art" that depicts the First World riding the back of the Third World.

  • ||

    Well then the third world needs to get it's shit together and invent a better mode of transportation than piggyback rides. I suggest starting with the wheel.

  • ||

    It looks like Idi Amin on the back of some poor Ugandan which is a more accurate picture of reality.

  • Fluffy||

    The hotter the Danes (and Dutch) make their women, the more likely it is that the Alien Invasion To Kidnap Our Women will happen there and not here.

    More power to them, as long as it ain't my money.

  • Lord Humungus||

    The problem with Dutch girls is the logrithmic (versus age) posterior size increases. Of course this extra 'land' makes for uh, more area for farming.

    And this is coming from a member of the Dutch Mafia.

  • Sir Mix-A-Lot||

  • Old Mexican||

    The new tax, designed by Denmark’s outgoing government in an effort to limit the population’s intake of fatty foods, will add 16 kroner ($2.87, or 2.15 euros) per kilo (2.2 pounds) of saturated fats in a product.


    I smell a business opportunity, here!!!

    Fatty Black Market - has a ring to it. Hmmm.

    Oh, and governments keep alive the idea that they can be populated only by truly stoopid people.

  • ||

    I prefer Black Fatty Market, but for reasons I'm not prepared to discuss in this forum.

  • ||

    How about Fatback Market? Copy that scene from Fight Club where they go dumpster diving behind a lyposuction clinic and get bags full of human fat from the dumpster.

    Good eatin!

  • Rhywun||

    You know who else wanted to whip his country into shape?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Leopold von Sacher-Masoch?

  • ||

    FTA: "The country has been taxing soda pop for a while too as well as candy bars for almost 100 years."

    It's soda, just...soda. Only dickholes from New Jersey and New York call it soda pop.*

    *And I want to thank my parents for moving me to Virginia from "pop"-infested Ohio when I was 18. I'll always be a Buckeye, but will not be considered mentally retarded by the civilized world.

  • Rhywun||

    Ahem. Us dickholes say "soda" too.

  • ||

    If you're southern it's all Coke, even the other brands.

  • T||

    A surreal exchange heard often in the South:

    "Gimme a coke."
    "What kind?"

    I note this regionalism is fading away, which makes me sad. I always enjoyed that bit of oddness.

  • ||

    amen...I have actually heard that exchange at fine culinary establishments across the South.

  • ||

    Down South, you'll still hear people referring to it as just "pop."

  • WTF||

    Nobody from New Jersey says 'soda pop'. It's just 'soda'.

  • Whappan?||

    I'm from NJ. I've never heard anyone here refer to it as "soda pop."

  • Ska||

    I will also attest that people from NY call it soda.

  • MJ||

    "...will not be considered mentally retarded by the civilized world."

    But you moved to Virginia.

  • ||

    I wonder how much they paid Tulpa and Rather to model for that sculpture.

  • ||

    They paid each in peanut butter, but for different reasons.

  • juris imprudent||

    Has anyone examined the taxes on fat-causing substances in Somalia? It seems to be working wonders there in preventing obesity.

    Speaking of congenital cluelessness (and fat-heads) - why is there no link to Friedman's latest? It is a classic (of a sort).

  • Hugh Akston||

    Eh, reason isn't above going after the occasional low hanging fruit, but attacking Friedman (or his evolved-Pokemon form Pauly Krugnuts) is like kicking potatoes.

  • So, you're a moron?||

    What an inspired comment, oh, terribly sorry, I meant insipid.

    BLOG CRABS!!!!!

  • Abdul||

    New Friday Funny:

    Denmark is taxing the danish into oblivion.

  • Warty||

    Not a single instance of the string "something is rotten"? You people make me sick.

  • WTF||

    It seems like it should be obvious, but I got nuthin'.

  • NoVAHockey||

    all the fruit and vegetables that will go uneaten as people pay the tax anyway?

  • Kroneborge||

    If your trying to make people skinny a tax on sugar would be far more effective.

  • Torvon||

    This website is called reason, and rages about tax increases without any citation of a study?

    We KNOW that increased prices work very, very well to make people consume less (the literature goes from cigarettes to alcohol to sweets).

    So how about you check some of the literature instead of ranting without any clue of the field?

    (This is not me giving my opinion about whether I like what Denmark does or not)

    Torvon

  • Abdul||

    Drink!

  • ||

    Certainly, punitive taxes can reduce consumption. Nobody is really arguing that.

    The tax rates the Danes are instituting seem too low, to me, to affect consumption. Even though that's their putative purpose.

    Nah, the real question is, what business is it of the Almighty State to try to control what I eat?

    Don't need no study for that.

  • Doctor Whom||

    It's not as though increased prices caused by taxation ever led to black markets.

  • NL_||

    A more effective tax on fat would just require people to get weighed and body-fat indexed each year, then tax them on the number of pounds multiplied by their body-fat percentage. That way it's up to each individual to find a way to avoid gaining fat. But people would resent this as too intrusive. It's also costly to administer and not a great indicator of health so much as an indicator of attractiveness.

    An even simpler tax would be to have higher estate taxes and income on people who die young, with less income tax and less estate tax as you make it to older and older ages. But nobody really cares how long you live, they just need a socially acceptable excuse to hate overweight people.

    Of course, we could always just not add the insult of condescension to the injury of thieving taxation.

  • Turnkey||

    It may not be as good as a health indicator as say waist size, but BMI is actually pretty accurate for anyone of Euro decent. The "I'm not fat even though my BMI is obese" is mostly a denial thing.

    Anyway - it seems like a good demonstration that if any aspect can be regulated for public good the concept will be applied to everything. Walking quotas next maybe?

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