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Denmark's Fat Tax. What do you think?

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posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 06:35 PM
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It was on the radio in the morning, and now on CNN:


CNN link

Across the pond in Europe, Denmark is becoming the first country in the world to impose a so-called fat tax on foods high in saturated fats.

That includes everything from cheeseburgers and pizza to butter, milk, cheese and oils. Many Danes stocked up on these yummy groceries before the tax went into effect his weekend.

How much the "fat tax" is depends on how much saturated fat is in any given food, but it comes out to about $3 for every 2 pounds of saturated fat.

Officials say the goal is to increase the average life expectancy in Denmark, since saturated fats can cause heart disease and cancer.


I personally support this kind of measure (and am getting ready for flames). In our country with its obesity rates we could only do better to cut the fat.

One misconception that's frequently quoted is that this tax would punish the poor, since greasy food is cheaper than healthier food. As a person who cooks, I call complete bull cr@p on that assertion. One can have a huge amount of tasty lentil soup (just one example, there are many) made for like $1. A bag of chips would run you a lot more and ruin your health instead of helping it.




posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 06:42 PM
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I concur with your opposition to healthy foods being expensive and garbage being cheap. We feed our family of 6 for about 3-6 dollars per meal total (meaning not per person, but total) and we eat healthy homemade foods.

Denmark has a universal healthcare program, and because of the that it is important to all to keep the population as healthy as possible. That said, it seems like a rational move.

In America, I would not have a problem with it if it was done on the state level. Something has to be done, because it's obvious the people are less than capable of doing it themselves. It's not poor education, it's not poor food options, and it's not pervasive advertising. Although those do factor into the overall problem, they are not the root but the effect of a population that is mentally lazy and preoccupied with things that are of no importance.

Peace
KJ
edit on 3-10-2011 by KrazyJethro because: correction for clarity



posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 06:44 PM
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What do I think?

Any tax is a tax on something I personally may or may not want at some time in my future, which means if I want it I will have to pay more to get it.

Why would I ever want that?
Why would anyone ever want that?



posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 06:46 PM
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I may support removing subsidies to Fast food companies and providers of fast food (as I have heard these exist in some countries to a great degree). This, however, is too intrusive. Why should I be punished for buying a slice of pizza (I am not fat)? This is big brotherish and not something the State has a right in infringing on.



posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 06:47 PM
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Originally posted by KrazyJethro
I concur with your beliefs that healthy foods are all expensive and garbage is cheap.


Well, I actually stated the opposite.


Denmark has a universal healthcare program, and because of the that it is important to all to keep the population as healthy as possible. That said, it seems like a rational move.


The cost to public is still there even in the system like we have in the US. Diabetes is doing horrors to Americans, more than any jihad.


In America, I would not have a problem with it if it was done on the state level. Something has to be done, because it's obvious the people are less than capable of doing it themselves. It's not poor education, it's not poor food options, and it's not pervasive advertising. Although those do factor into the overall problem, they are not the root but the effect of a population that is mentally lazy and preoccupied with things that are of no importance.


I respectfully disagree. Education is when you really "get" the stuff, otherwise it's not education at all. If I learned that supersized cheese burger is very bad for me, I better put this knowledge to practice...

But there is no focus on that in most part of our education system.



posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 06:50 PM
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Originally posted by Ultraman2011
I may support removing subsidies to Fast food companies and providers of fast food (as I have heard these exist in some countries to a great degree). This, however, is too intrusive. Why should I be punished for buying a slice of pizza (I am not fat)? This is big brotherish and not something the State has a right in infringing on.


You can't create perfect rules, legislation, taxation or any of this sort. Gun control in some states does not exist because every person living there is a psycho or a hardened criminal. Just some.

So yes, you would lose a few bucks a month with your pizza habit, but it may save somebody else's life because they really decide to cut on pizza, for real.



posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 06:54 PM
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There are plenty of examples of people who eat a diet high in saturated fat and are just fine. The natives of northern North America eat a diet that is extremely high in saturated fats.

Dietary fat is essential for the absorption of key nutrients such as vitamin D. All the fat soluble nutrients require you to eat fat to absorb them properly. A diet that is extremely low in fat is thus a very unhealthy diet.

It's ridiculous how a basic class of molecules can be made into a boogeyman.

It is laughable for a beer drinking nation like Denmark to single out saturated fat so they can punish people for cheeseburgers but ignore beer.

You can eat pretty much whatever you want and be skinny so long as you are active enough to use the energy you ingest.



posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 06:54 PM
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One reason the 'fat tax' wouldn't work in the US is that lots of low income family who are already choosing unhealthy foods recieve food stamps. No taxes are generated using food stamps. So, unless you pay cash for food or it is included into the retail price it won't do any good.



posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 06:55 PM
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Originally posted by buddhasystem
The cost to public is still there even in the system like we have in the US. Diabetes is doing horrors to Americans, more than any jihad.


Okay, but how does cutting back on cheese prevent diabetes? I don't see sugar or potatoes being taxed...

It IS too Big Brotherish, but it's also wrong-headed. There's nothing particularly wrong with saturated fat, particularly butter. Trans fats are terrible, and simple carbs are terrible. However, I disagree with them being taxed.

There needs to be more of an emphasis on preventative medicine but it's hard for people to be properly informed when the food and pharma lobbies are so powerful.

Take the negative stigma that both saturated fat and salt have, in spite of them being perfectly healthy in reasonable moderation. If people eat too much of anything, it's usually packaged, processed food of any sort. If governments want to go ahead and tax that, fine, they could do it for 'environmental' reasons as well, but 'whole foods' should be left alone.



posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 07:05 PM
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Diabetes is caused by many food additives and chemicals like BPA that are almost in all plastics consumed by the USA. Not saturated fat.....



posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 07:06 PM
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As much as I hate any new government tax, it appears to make sense since we will have socialized medicine eventually and the large will be costing the system more. One problem is the same problem you have now with smoking and the huge taxes placed on cigarettes. The ones who can least afford to pay the tax will end up paying it. I don't think that a tax on fatty food will stop people's behavior who like it. Inflation on food has gone up the past year and I don't see any less obesce people. The other problem with any tax promised to the people to offset or pay for some program is that it never does. If you look at all of history, I don't believe it would offset healthcare costs; it would just be spent on the next war or bridge or building we don't need.

Good post OP.



posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 07:07 PM
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reply to post by buddhasystem
 


Lifestyle should never be taxed.

You and I have different ways of looking at this obviously. You see it as an incentive for people to eat healthier, I see it as government overreaching by legislating lifestyle.



posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 07:10 PM
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Originally posted by blivey
One reason the 'fat tax' wouldn't work in the US is that lots of low income family who are already choosing unhealthy foods recieve food stamps. No taxes are generated using food stamps. So, unless you pay cash for food or it is included into the retail price it won't do any good.


What you could do in this case is to not allow fatty items to be purchased with the food stamp card. No revenue from this though. Of course we would need an entire new government agency with hundreds of employees to pick which foods are healthy. Oh, and the poor would riot violently if this was done.



posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 07:10 PM
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Originally posted by TheFrenchPickler
As much as I hate any new government tax, it appears to make sense since we will have socialized medicine eventually and the large will be costing the system more.


Which is exactly the reason why I am against socialized medicine. Not because of large people specifically, but because it pits one person against another in acquiring medical care.

Don't they give us enough reason to be divided already?



posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 07:10 PM
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Another off shoot of this behaviour, is that you are manipulating the natural market. You are punishing certain producers of food and rewarding others. Food manufactures will alter their behaviour to juice the system and by pass the rules (as they always do). The end result will be highly subsidized food providers (who will be great contributors to the political party making the choices). And, other losers in the process.

Its a personal responsibility issue. I eat pizza, like ice cream and sometimes have a chocolate bar in the afternoon. But, I also exercise, take vitamins, and run in marathons. I don't need some state official telling me what I can and cannot eat.

And, if I don't know that excessive eating of chocolate, and hamburgers is bad for me, then I would have to be living under a rock.



posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 07:14 PM
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reply to post by buddhasystem
 


It's just more hate to divide us and take more money. Sadly some are fooled by it.

Why people can't see how this works amazes me. I guess people need to hate somebody so bad they turn off their brains as long as the victims are not them.

Taxes like that have nothing to do with helping people. That's just and excuse they know they can get away with because the human animal always has to hate somebody.

Why are you opposed to personal freedoms and peoples right to make their own decisions, even bad ones? Why do you want to control other people so badly? Why is more government control a good thing? Why is the out of control governments of the world taking money away from those who earned it a good thing? Please educate me how hate and being fooled into thinking the government cares about anything other than taking money is good?

I personally think its that the government knows there are many out there more than willing to hate and those who hate are more than willing to try and control everyone else. Freedom to them means free to do what they personally approve of and if they don't approve to hell with Freedom of Choice. Somewhere deep inside you want to control everyone and the government uses that to get support to take more money from those who earn it.

Me, I'm for Freedom period. The only people I hate are those who try and dictate to others while pretending to be for Freedom. Phonies all.



posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 07:16 PM
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Originally posted by buddhasystem
Well, I actually stated the opposite.


I know, I made an edit practically right after I posted it because it didn't read how I meant it.


The cost to public is still there even in the system like we have in the US. Diabetes is doing horrors to Americans, more than any jihad.


Agreed, the costs are there although perhaps not to the same degree. However, in America there is a much larger problem to address first. Our current system is so ridiculous and muddled between the state and federal governments that there really isn't much the average person can do to really parse the issue, let alone have a reasonable opinion more often than not.


I respectfully disagree. Education is when you really "get" the stuff, otherwise it's not education at all. If I learned that supersized cheese burger is very bad for me, I better put this knowledge to practice...

But there is no focus on that in most part of our education system.


Well, in order to "get" the stuff, one has to have both the ability to get it and the desire to in the first place. This is seriously lacking and isn't really something an education system might address in any substantial way. I suggest it's more of a parent problem, especially with so many single parent households, households where both parents work, etc, the list goes on.

Fat parents are a more serious problem than education really. The type of abuse they cause is shameful and wrong.

In terms of education, that is an entirely different subject. There are systemic problems in the education system starting with the agricultural school year we still employ and religious mucking about in curriculum.



posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 07:18 PM
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Originally posted by Iamonlyhuman

Originally posted by TheFrenchPickler
As much as I hate any new government tax, it appears to make sense since we will have socialized medicine eventually and the large will be costing the system more.


Which is exactly the reason why I am against socialized medicine. Not because of large people specifically, but because it pits one person against another in acquiring medical care.

Don't they give us enough reason to be divided already?


That they do..I am not in favor of socialized medicine either but am realistic it will be here soon. The price will be great but you might die waiting for care.



posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 07:19 PM
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Fat is a NECESSITY in one's diet. With no fat, you DIE. That's right. No fat diet? DIE.

I eat tons of fat. I weigh 230 pounds. Fat slob, right?

Oh, but I'm 6'5". I'm skinny as a rail. So, I should pay more tax, right?

Fat PEOPLE should be taxed by the pound. Oh, wait. According to those nonsense BMI index things, I am OBESE. Ha. And I eat a high fat diet. I should be double taxed, right?



posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 07:32 PM
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reply to post by buddhasystem
 


I 100% this for the very same reason they tax tobacco. They have socialized medicine therefore these industries are costing the government money. They should take it further and ban people from shoving hot dogs in their faces while I'm eating just like they did with cigarettes. That was my argument when I was a smoker, anyway.

Reminds me of this:




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