Junk food and sugary drinks could be hit with ‘fat taxes’ in an effort to combat obesity and help fill the black hole in Government finances.

The Food Standards Agency is planning to consult on whether such taxes would help make people eat healthier food.

If imposed, the taxes would operate on the same principle as those on tobacco and drink to change behaviour and raise money.

However, under one scenario, 17.5 per cent VAT might even be applied to full fat milk, butter and cheese to encourage a switch to products with less saturated fat.

Food is currently exempt from VAT.

But the fat tax idea has angered food manufacturers who claim the public would rebel against what would be seen as a ‘Nanny State’ move.

He said better results could be achieved by food manufacturers making voluntary improvements to their recipes and products.

There is some research claiming that the changes to eating habits caused by a fat tax could prevent as many as 3,000 deaths a year. Last year, the British Medical Association only narrowly voted against supporting a fat tax on chocolate.

Britain’s National Obesity Forum has supported the idea, claiming it would help cut rates of coronary heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes.

In the U.S., President Obama is understood to be considering a tax on sugary drinks to raise money for health care. Specific proposals are being pursued in New York.

Denmark is proposing a saturated fat tax on certain foods, such as some dairy products, and it already has one on soft drinks. Romania is also proposing a tax on a range of ‘unhealthy’ foods.

As far back as 2004, the Downing Street Strategy Unit floated the idea of a fat tax as a ‘signal to society’ because the sharp rise in the number of obese people.

A study by academics at Oxford and Nottingham universities in 2004 suggested a wide-ranging fat tax would raise around £2billion a year.

However, research by the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies warned that any fat tax would have a disproportionate effect on the poor, taking a greater percentage of their food budget than better off families.

Read the article on Mail on Sunday

‘Fat tax’ on junk food as prices may rise to boost the war against obesity

Junk food and sugary drinks could be hit with ‘fat taxes’ in an effort to combat obesity and help fill the black hole in Government finances.

The Food Standards Agency is planning to consult on whether such taxes would help make people eat healthier food.

If imposed, the taxes would operate on the same principle as those on tobacco and drink to change behaviour and raise money.

However, under one scenario, 17.5 per cent VAT might even be applied to full fat milk, butter and cheese to encourage a switch to products with less saturated fat.

Food is currently exempt from VAT.

But the fat tax idea has angered food manufacturers who claim the public would rebel against what would be seen as a ‘Nanny State’ move.

He said better results could be achieved by food manufacturers making voluntary improvements to their recipes and products.

There is some research claiming that the changes to eating habits caused by a fat tax could prevent as many as 3,000 deaths a year. Last year, the British Medical Association only narrowly voted against supporting a fat tax on chocolate.

Britain’s National Obesity Forum has supported the idea, claiming it would help cut rates of coronary heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes.

In the U.S., President Obama is understood to be considering a tax on sugary drinks to raise money for health care. Specific proposals are being pursued in New York.

Denmark is proposing a saturated fat tax on certain foods, such as some dairy products, and it already has one on soft drinks. Romania is also proposing a tax on a range of ‘unhealthy’ foods.

As far back as 2004, the Downing Street Strategy Unit floated the idea of a fat tax as a ‘signal to society’ because the sharp rise in the number of obese people.

A study by academics at Oxford and Nottingham universities in 2004 suggested a wide-ranging fat tax would raise around £2billion a year.

However, research by the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies warned that any fat tax would have a disproportionate effect on the poor, taking a greater percentage of their food budget than better off families.

Read the article on Mail on Sunday

Postat de pe data de 10 mai, 2010 in categoria România în lume. Poti urmari comentariile acestui articol prin RSS 2.0. Acest articol a fost vizualizat de 101 ori.

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