Denmark: land of pork ribs, Hamlet, and extravagant pastries. While nobody would ever really consider Denmark an economic European powerhouse, they are experimenting with a new policy that could start a domino effect around the world. The Danish government is imposing a $3 tax for every kilogram of butter and foods with saturated fat.
Interestingly, Danes are among the thinnest people in Europe so it’s interesting that the tiny little country is imposing a tax it doesn’t really need. The tax will raise the prices of hamburgers and packs of butter. It is similar to the soda tax imposed a few years ago in the U.S.
Why is it so significant? It is the first tax to include a broad range of food, not just a specific product like soda. The tax applies to dairy, egg products, meats, desserts, candy, cookies, and more. If it is proven effective, countries such as the U.K, Mexico, and the U.S. will follow Denmark’s example.
Are saturated fats really that bad for you?
A saturated fat is a molecule known as a triglyceride containing fatty acids that are fully bonded by Hydrogen molecules. Theses are very complex fats that can be very hard to get rid of and can cause problems for the body.
High levels have saturated fat have been positively correlated with breast, colorectal, small intestinal, prostate, and ovarian cancer. There are multiple studies that show saturated fat can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Obesity has become an epidemic. Medical researchers have concluded that if our eating habits aren’t improved by 2050, 70% of the first-world population will be obese. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.
It’s easy to tell how certain have saturated fat. One trick I like to use is “No butter is better”. If the food product was made using natural butter, it probably has saturated fat in it. Also stay away from fast food and food that’s been fried.
In the future, if the U.S. follows Denmark’s lead, it may be better for your wallet too to stay away from those fattening food.