The Not-So-Great Danes

Last week, Danish legislators voted to repeal their recently-established tax on fatty foods, citing criticism and effect on business as their reasons. Passed into law last year, the tax was placed on all foods with a saturated fat content higher than 2.3 percent.

This tax law was originally passed as part of a public health effort to curb obesity rates in the country. But some reports indicate that what it did in practice was drive people to other suppliers. Some shoppers began international grocery shopping–in Sweden and Germany–to purchase cheese and other high-fat dairy products at a much lower cost.

Mette Gjerskov, who is theMinister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries said the fat tax, “is one of the most criticized we had in a long time.” Due to the unpopularity of this law, Denmark also decided not to go forward with plans to institute a sugar tax.

The now-defunct tax raised $216 million in new revenue in the past year. As a result of repeal, Denmark will see an increase in income taxes and a reduction in deductibles to make up for the money lost. That said, they no longer have to shop out of their own country to satisfy their dietary wants.

Take a look at the following report on this appeal from The Young Turks YouTube Channel.

So essentially, their one year experiment was a bust, as they found that people want what they want, and it got me to wondering about the September 13th “ban” on large sized soft drinks in New York City for the same reason, because just like the “research” that led the Danish to think that fatty foods were the primary source of obesity in their country, the science linking sugary drinks to obesity also seems a little unclear to date.

So, while Denmark chose to tax fatty foods, it wasn’t a PROHIBITION, like the fat phobic Mayor of NY and his Board of Health put into effect.  While this ban has since been challenged by the Soda Industry, who filed suit, and challenged the authority of both the Mayor, and the NY Board of Health to make such a ruling.  Incredibly, the mayor’s chief spokesman, Marc La Vorgna, rejected those arguments, calling the lawsuit “baseless.”

“The Board of Health absolutely has the authority to regulate matters affecting health, and the obesity crisis killing nearly 6,000 New Yorkers a year — and impacting the lives of thousands more — unquestionably falls under its purview,” Mr. La Vorgna wrote in a statement.

Mr. La Vorgna, if your Board of Health spent more time inspecting the many food establishments and street vendors who handle tainted food, and pass on diseases that make obesity look like a walk in the park, you might have some credibility.  For now, to me you’re just another douchenozzle who “thinks” they have the answer to the obesity epidemic.

Quite frankly, you don’t have a fucking clue.

And that my friends, is the point of the blog today.  We have people who “think” they have the universal answer to obesity, when in fact they don’t.  Furthermore, they attempt to impose those answers on a world who may not be obese for any of the reasons the lawmakers think these people are obese from.  The first thing they might want to consider is how many fat people are in fact healthy.

The second thing they may want to look at is changing the mindset, and make the focus of the various boards of health on…………..YOU GUESSED IT!!

See, that would be something positive for the community, an education of such (regardless of income, so even the lower income groups could develop a better understanding of nutrition) and a focus on overall health would be constructive.  Combine that with a program to educate everyone that not everyone who’s fat is unfit, and you would put the public on a better path to health (physically & emotionally) than they are now.

While some (though not all of my ideas) are espoused by the HAES (Health At Every Size) mindset, I fully support HAES, and hope that enough legislators will at the very least take the time to read about it and understand what it means.  For those of you who would like to know more about HAES, pleas visit the following links:

http://www.haescommunity.org/

http://www.lindabacon.org/HAESbook/

http://healthateverysizeblog.org/

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