Based on the amount of saturated fat in products, the new tax will add substantially to the price of many daily products such as dairy, meat and prefabricated foods.
On October 1 Denmark became the first country in the world to impose a fat tax after a week of consumers stockpiling butter, meat and milk to avoid the immediate effects.
The new tax, designed by Denmark's outgoing government as a health issue to limit the population's intake of fatty foods, will add 16 Danish kroner ($2.87) per kilo (2.2 pounds) of saturated fats in a product. The price of for instance butter will increase by nearly 10 kroner to over 70 kroner per kilo.ADVERTISEMENT
The new tax will be levied on all products that include saturated fats—from butter and milk to pizzas, oils, meats and pre-cooked foods—through a system that Denmark's Confederation of Industries (DI) has said is a bureaucratic nightmare for producers and outlets. While producers in Denmark have to pay the tax at source, for imported goods it is calculated by the distributor.
The conservative party that decided on the tax will be replaced by a center-left administration elected on September 15, 2011.
The new Danish tax has started a discussion in Sweden of whether Swedish consumers need a similar levy to tackle obesity.