Expert: Sweden needs 'fat tax'

Oct. 1, 2011 at 1:59 PM
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STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Sweden should begin taxing saturated fats and sugar, especially sodas and other sweetened soft drinks, a nutritionist said.

Claude Marcus of the Karolinska Institute told The Local high-calorie, low-nutrition foods have become relatively cheap in recent decades. At the same time, the price of fruit and vegetables has gone up.

"Sweden has never before seen as much obesity and overweight people, and it's a problem that costs 20 billion kronor ($2.9 billion) per year," he said. "Type 1 diabetes continues to increase and we don't exactly know why, but we know that your lifestyle certainly affects it."

Marcus suggested using revenue increases from higher taxes on fatty and sugary foods to reduce the tax on more nutritious ones. In neighboring Denmark, a "fat tax" took effect Saturday.

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