Denmark has imposed a “fat tax” on foods such as butter and oil as a way to curb unhealthy eating habits.

The Nordic country introduced the tax on Saturday, of 16 kroner ($2.90) per kilogram of saturated fat in a product.

The tax was approved by large majority in a parliament in March as a move to help increase the average life expectancy of Danes.

Denmark, like some other European countries, already has higher fees on sugar, chocolates and soft drinks, but the Nordic country is believed to be the first in the world to tax fatty foods.

In September, Hungary introduced a new tax popularly known as the “Hamburger Law,” but that only involves higher taxes on soft drinks, pastries, salty snacks and food flavourings.

The outgoing conservative Danish government planned the fat tax as part of a goal to increase the average life expectancy of Danes, currently below the OECD average at 79 years, by three years over the next 10 years.

The tax mechanism is very complex, involving tax rates on the percentage of fat used in making a product rather than the percentage that is in the end-product. — AP

Keywords: Denmarkfat tax

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