Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Say "nej tak" to fat

Denmark is getting all kinds of international attention. 
First we elect a female Prime Minister. (YEAH!)
and then as of October 1, we have a new FAT TAX.
No, they are not going to put me in a higher tax bracket because I have more cellulite than most Danes.... (Thank goodness!), but they are going to charge me more if I choose to fill my grocery cart with all those bad fatty things when I shop at Bilka. 

It is really quite interesting that Denmark is the first country to impose a tax like this because world-wide, we have one of the lowest percentages of folks who are obese (10% here, as compared with 33% in the US). And don't you love how I am part of that "we"! 
So it actually a very pro-active thing that Denmark is doing.... however, perhaps it would have been a good start to deny restaurants like McDonald's from coming to DK and instead invited over Chipotle...
but that is a story for another blog!

So what does a fat tax do??
It has nothing to do with sugar; rather, it means that I will pay extra every time I buy something that has high saturated fats..... like BUTTER (ouch, that one will hurt the Danes when it comes to their rundstykker) and cream cheese (ouch, that one will hurt folks like me who believe that cream cheese is a great "comfort" ingredient when baking!), but in the end (no pun intended) it really might force us to consider healthier options because we ALREADY pay 25% sales tax on these items, so the question must be asked----exactly how much value do we place on a stick of butter?

The world is watching in wonder to see if this works...
and then perhaps others will follow suit.
Because when it comes down to it, Denmark is trying to make sure that THIS:
doesn't turn into this:
a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.....or bottom. Take your pic. 


Anonymous said...

Wow - this IS daring and very pro-active! One danger with making butter very expensive is that people might turn to margarine and other 'fake' butters that aren't so healthy...

Really - they need to do two things: put up the prices of fast food and fatty foods or processed food and snack food - AND also REDUCE the price of healthy foods and fruits.

I'm sure that lots of people eat unhealthily because it's cheaper.

Jens said...

As a Dane, I love the "we" you mention here.

Just came across your blog and it is fantasticly praiseing (in general) of the Danish society. As a Dane, I of course love that!

As a political being, though, it confounds me how you could have (even once) voted for Bush, and yet be adament in your antipathy towards Dansk Folke Parti. In my view, even the right-most party in the Danish folketing are to the left of the Democrats in the US. (The Republicans in the US are, of course, to the right of Ghengis Khan.)

HOLMES said...

Total and complete bullshit. Not only am I overweight, I have cooked with butter and eaten butter my entire life. I eat sugar, trans fats, Crisco, oils... not only is my cholesterol LOW, my heart and digestive system work fine. I would load up my grocery cart with every pack of butter at Bilka and pay the effing tax just to prove a point. And that point is: I EAT WHAT I WANT.

ViViYaYa said...

I do not agree with this tax. I do agree with getting rid of ALL fast food establishments [oh yes I am a Very Politically Incorrect American - and proud of it] The food at these places are nothing but cheap slop to feed the masses. Get rid of all soda pop. Most of it contains sodium benzoate. A known cancer causing carcinogen. I call all soft drinks liquid leukemia for this reason. ASPARTAME - Get rid of ALL products with this chemical in it. It has been proven to cause seizures and brain tumours. Ingestion of margarine versus butter? Margarine is a man made product heated at extreme temperatures with nickel and other metals put in it. Look up Dr.Andrew Weil MD and read about is opinion regarding aspartame and margarine.
Off Rant Now aka ...............

a hissy/conniption fit lol

ViViYaYa said...

I'd like to add the things I think Denmark is doing right.
The drinking water is safe right from the tap. No fluoride apparently.One of your posts mentioned canned/jars of food not lasting as long because there are very little preservatives in it. A lot of vegetables/fruits are organic. Use of herbs/juices rather than otc meds for sickness. Apparently there are lots of sports teams/clubs one can join to encourage being active rather than a sedentary life style.
A person does not have to be obese in order to not be healthy. Smoking, overeating, lack of exercise and alcohol consumption all play a part in this. IMHO an area that could be improved upon would be the high rate of binge drinking among the teenagers. A lot more vegetables added to ones eating style rather than heavy doses of potatoes/beets. These are starches which turn to sugar quite quickly.

Nina Ø said...

I am confused Kelli. Most of what I have been reading the past several years says tht organic butter and cheese is good for you and processed grains and processed foods are what adds the weight. I don't touch margarine but use only organic butter. What kind of research are they using? Denmark is really pretty good at research.

Anonymous said...

i must admit i hate high taxes period, but i think this is brilliant. i wish norway would join in, but i have noticed that denmark does things in a more sensible manner and norway kind of does things backwards and i can never make sense out of it. i personally would love to see super high taxes (well, highER) on tobacco here... that way my dog will never eat another cigarette butt or snus packet AGAIN (people litter like nobody's business in bergen). :)

ViViYaYa said...

Quote from Dr. Arne Astrup professor of human nutrition at the University of Copenhagen:
" This fat tax didn't evolve by the nutrition council," he says. "It was created wholly within the Tax Ministry because they were 1 billion krone ($180 million) short. They didn't do it to cut down on cardiovascular disease, they did it to close a budget gap."

[ My sentiments exactly Dr.Astrup. Banning a product (trans fats) with no monetary gain whatsoever for a government entity shows a true concern for the peoples health and welfare. A tax is always imposed for gaining additional revenue and/or to eradicate a deficit. ]

MoMo 2.0 said...

I did vote for Bush the first time he was elected... but that was at a time in my life when I was very involved in a very conservative church and very much was following the expectations. I was a different person then in a very different life. No excuses. Just fact.

Nuno said...


Actually, it's far cheaper to eat healthily. Beans, pulses, vegetables (etc, etc) are far cheaper than the processed crap that most people fill their shopping trollies with.


DF is not to the left of the Democrats. It is an ultra-nationalistic party that flirts with national socialism (kinda like another European party did a few decades ago). Please see your country for what it is, instead of comparing it favourably (and falsely) with the US.

ViViYaYa said...

If I may respond to Nina O. You are right in your thinking. It is the processed and/or man-made foods that are not as helathy for you. A person is much better off to eat a lesser amount of 'real' butter versus fake margarine. Same goes for the cheese.

Jens said...

Explanation accepted.

I would like to think that your stay here for many years in the hell of "European Socialism" did the trick. :-)

Anyway, love your blog and please keep on posting, unhindered and free.

PS: Any thoughts on Steve Jobs very sudden passing?

Jens said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Great closing photos you have there. They made me LoL. It sure will be interesting to see what kind of effect this new tax will have on the waistlines of the Danes. I know one person who won't let the tax stand in the way of butter. The name starts with an H and ends in a Y haha.