It’s finally happened: a fat tax is being implemented. Before you get hot under the collar, it’s not happening stateside. Yet. Denmark is the country bringing about the first tax to directly attack obesity.
“It’s the first ever fat tax,” said Mike Rayner, Director of Oxford University’s Health Promotion Research Group, who has advocated for quite some time the idea of taxes on unhealthy foods.
“It’s very interesting. We haven’t had any practical examples before. Now we will be able to see the effects for real.”
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There’s more news to fuel the debate over the government’s role in health issues. Alabama is going to start charging obese state employees $25 a month in 2011. It will be based on people with BMIs (Body Mass Index) over 35.
This may almost sound outlandish to some, until you realize that state employees are getting free health care, and that Alabamans are paying $1.32 billion a year in estimated medical charges. Alabama is the second heaviest state, behind its neighbor Mississippi.
Here’s more on the details of the debate, and feel free to chime in with your own opinions.