Friday, 14 October 2011

Get Fat? Get Taxed.

Denmark has introduced fat food tax i.e. applying extra charge on food with more saturated fat as the government's attempt to help its people fight obesity and obviously diseases caused by obesity such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke etc.

In simple English, such fat tax applies to food like butter, cheese, bacon, meat, oil, pizza, cookies, muffins, pastries and the list goes on.

In 2010, Denmark has increased taxes on food such as chocolate, ice-cream, soft drinks etc.
I can see where the government is coming from and I know it only has good intentions for its people.  In the long run, I'm sure fat tax would also benefit the costs of public health care, improve quality of life of its people or even a small possibility of a tax reduction or rebate.

However, only 1 in 10 people in Denmark are obese, I mean, if a country was to impose such tax on its citizens, wouldn't England be right at the top with 1 in 4 Brits being obese?  Seriously, Denmark???

Further, what gives a government have the right to control what its people eat? If you are that concerned for their health, shouldn't you ban tobacco and alcohol altogether?  But you won't, because the money from the tax is nice and FAT.

Also, why should the whole country suffer because of the 10% of the population who can't control themselves?  I don't mean to sound heartless but I am sorry, if you are obese, you should take full responsibility for your own actions and hold yourself liable for the way you are today.  No one else should have to suffer because you have no self control or that you are to lazy to help yourself.

And no, I have no sympathy for obese people.  Some of my friends are overweight and they work their asses off to get healthy - this takes discipline, sweat, tears, determination and a shit load of HARD WORK.

There is no short cut to weight loss or getting fit.  You can't sit there and eat four times your body weight and blame the world for what's happening to you.  

My girlfriends run at 6am in the morning or hit the gym at noon time and they will always find time and a way to get healthy.  I don't have a gym membership but I just run and watch what I eat (or I try to).

Fat tax is just one of the most unfair things I have ever heard of.  I love junk food, I love fries, chocolate, cheese, ice-creams, cookies, muffins and so on...I would rather die full, happy and penniless than rich with an empty stomach! 

Plus, many people simply don't put on weight, no matter what they eat; alright, they may not be the most healthy people on the planet but they will never even be overweight until they turn 60.

Thank God that Hong Kong has a close to zero obese population (is anyone actually obese in Hong Kong if obese means one's BMI must be over 30kg/m2?); with its female population obsessed with weight-loss, sticks-and-bones mentality, we will never have fat tax here.

Thus, my thoughts on fat tax can be summarized into two words - DO ONE!

Some figures from BBC news and Wikipedia