Thursday, 6 October 2011

France to impose fat tax on sugary drinks

France is to impose a 'fat tax' on sugary soft drinks in a bid to combat soaring child obesity.
The new tax will add just over 1p to a can of fizzy drink like Coca-Cola or Fanta but zero-calorie 'diet' drinks will be exempt from the charges, the government said.
The new measures - a hike of from 3 to 6 Euro cents per litre on sugary drinks - are also expected to raise more than £100 million a year for government coffers.
The revenue would be used to fund lower social security charges for farm workers, the government said.
The move comes days after France also announced it would be rationing tomato ketchup and salt in school canteens.
Under the rules, tomato sauce and mayonnaise will only be on dinner tables once a week when chips are served and would be removed when traditional French dishes such as roast veal are served.
Denmark also recently announced a new higher tax on foods containing high levels of saturated fat.
French MP Gilles Carrez said of his country's latest soft drinks tax: 'This project will have both health benefits as children turn away from sugary drinks, and revenue benefits for our core agricultural workforce.'
A recent study found a fast-food diet of junk food is turning the traditionally skinny French into a nation of fatties.

More than 20 million French people are now overweight and seven million of those are clinically obese - double the figure for 14 years ago, according to France's National Institute for Health and Medical Research.
Despite still being officially Europe's second thinnest people, the weight of the average French person has soared by half a stone to 11 stone 4lbs since 1997, the report found.
Obesity: Government's are now tackling excessive weight gain in their populations
Obesity: Government's are now tackling excessive weight gain in their populations and are targeting sugary drinks. France is bringing in measures to ration mayonnaise and tomato ketchup in schools
A French health ministry spokesman added: 'We French may be among the least overweight in Europe but we have nothing to be complacent about.
'Obesity is rising as swiftly in France as it is in other EU countries and action must be taken before it gets any more serious.'
Europe's fattest nation is Greece, where 70 per cent of people are overweight, and 30 per cent are obese.
Britons are Europe's fifth fattest, behind Germany, Finland and Ireland, according to a TNS Sofres survey of 500,000 people across the EU.
The NHS defines being overweight as having a body mass index - your weight to height ratio - of between 25 and 30, and obese as over 30.

By Ian Sparks taken from

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