I thought this might have been discussed here as a thread, but I am surprised it hasn't.
The outgoing government in Denmark has introduced a fat tax of $4 a kilo (IIRC) for content in all foods sold. It applies to everything, apparently, including staples such as ordinary (non-processed plastic) cheese.
The food industry has said the tax will be an administrative nightmare.
I thought it might be worth discussing on several levels.
1. Is this the nanny state gone mad again? I know that many people advocate regulation on what is contained in food, but I am a firm believer in that people should educate themselves and make valued judgments on what they purchase and eat, and that this has become a case of over-regulation.
2. Is fat really the major culprit? In terms of cholesteral, maybe, but my personal experience is that carbohydrates can be a significant villain, too. Maybe people are just thinking fat = fat and therefore, taxing fat to reduce its consumption is going to make people thinner by itself.
3. Is fat not the thing that really gives some foods its taste? It seems to me that the fat-reduced products, such as the cheddar cheese we buy, just doesn't have the same satisfying taste as the "real" stuff. And to overcome this lack of taste in fat-reduced products, there is an overload of salts and other added chemicals to create an artificial taste.
4. Isn't the commercial reality that "healthy" food on the menus of fast-food companies just doesn't cut it with sales? I know McDonalds, KFC, Burger King and so on have added "healthy" choices to their menus, but the consumer just doesn't want them despite quite heavy promotion here a while back.
5. How would you llike to be a business owner calculating the fat content in a food selection? "The base food isn't taxed coz it's healthy; but you want mayo? Oh that another 50 cents plus 4 cents tax. Oh, you want the light version, that's 50 cents plus 2 cents tax".
What do you think?