Denmark's sugar and fat taxes have been welcomed by the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA). They are urging other EU members to follow the example.
Denmark, in which 53% of adult men are considered overweight, has increased taxes on ice cream, chocolate and sweets by 25% and also increased taxes on soft drinks, tobacco and alcohol products. A tax on fat will be introduced later in the year.
According to the World Health Organization, taxation is one of the most effective intervention to fight against alcohol related harm, tobacco consumption and obesity. Monika Kosinska, secretary general of the EPHA said: 'Denmark will not only increase general health amongst the population but will also ease the burden on the public health care system and increase its resources at a time of recession when Member States are cutting public expenditure.'
The EPHA estimate that diet-related diseases now represent the cause of 60% of premature deaths in Europe.
'The Danish taxation reform tackles the main causes of preventable deaths,' said Monika Kosinska. 'We strongly believe that the Danish tax reform is an example to be followed by the European Union and other Member States, which should be complemented by measures to ensure the availability and affordability of nutritious food for all.'