Debate: Is a 20 percent tax on unhealthy foods the key to ending obesity?

Twenty percent; that’s the magic number experts say a fat tax would need to be in order to have a

junkfood

Twenty percent; that’s the magic number experts say a fat tax would need to be in order to have a significant effect on diet-related health conditions such as obesity and heart disease.

A 20 percent tax on unhealthy food and drinks, in combination with subsidies on healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables, is the likeliest way to shift eating habits, say researchers in the British Medical Journal.

These findings come after researchers at the University of Oxford examined the effectiveness of the taxes an increasing number of countries are placing on junk foods. (Denmark was one of the first countries to introduce a ‘fat tax’ by adding 16 kroner ($2.87) per kilo of saturated fat in a product.)

Meanwhile, the food industry is arguing that a ‘fat tax’ would not be fair, and only result in a damaged industry and job losses.

Would a 20 percent tax on junk food prevent you from buying it?

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