Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Random News Generator- Denmark

There's been a considerable amount of worry in the United States- and let's be honest, a lot of other countries- about a potential 'fat tax'- taxing foods that make you fat in order to bring down spiraling obesity rates. This worry has led to what has got to be one of the more pathetic and embarrassing debates in American history:

"For God's sake, stop shoveling everything that's not nailed down into the big hole in your face. This is not Skee-Ball."
"Pleeeeeeeaaaaaase? But all this food is so tasty! And so American! Eating is how I know I'm free!"
"Have a cake. I put frosting on it so it looks like a flag!"

Meanwhile, Denmark went ahead and did it, taxing any food with more than 2.3% saturated fat. The funny thing is, Denmark is not a fat country. In fact, they're really pretty fit by developed-nation standards.

So they didn't think of it as a 'fat' thing. They thought of it as a life-expectancy thing, as Denmark's life expectancy had dipped below the standard the rest of Western Europe had set. They were also the first country to ban trans fats, and several other European nations have either followed Denmark's lead or are looking to do so.

One of those countries considering following Denmark's lead is the United Kingdom, namely Prime Minister David Cameron. According to the Guardian:

"I think it is something that we should look at," he told 5 News during a round of broadcast interviews at the Tory conference in Manchester. "The problem in the past when people have looked at using the tax system in this way is the impact it can have on people on low incomes.

"But frankly, do we have a problem with the growing level of obesity? Yes. Do we have a kind of warning in terms of – look at America, how bad things have got there – what happens if we don't do anything? Yes, that should be a wake-up call."

Ouch, babe. It is rarely good when you've got other countries talking about you behind your back and telling each other 'Look at them, do you want to end up like that?'

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