`Fat tax` could be levied on junk food

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - 00:00

London: The British government may levy "fat
tax" on junk food and sugary drinks in a bid to reduce obesity
among consumers and reduce fiscal deficit, a media report
said.

According to The Telegraph, the Food Standards Agency
(FSA) -- a UK government body protecting health and consumer
interest related to food -- is planning may consult on whether
taxing such foods would encourage people to make healthier
choices.

The "fat tax" would be applied to processed foods, snacks
and sugary drinks in much the same way as taxes on alcohol and
tobacco.

However, the FSA is also considering the possibility of
imposing 17.5 per cent VAT to foodstuff like fat milk, butter
and cheese to encourage consumption of products with less
saturated fat.

The FSA fears that the nation`s excessive consumption of
saturated fat is leading to an increased numbers of deaths
through clogged arteries and heart disease.
The scheme has met with opposition from consumer groups,
the daily said.

However, some research has claimed a fat tax could save
up to 3,000 lives per year, the report noted.

According to The Telegraph, research by the Institute
for Fiscal Studies warned that any fat tax would have a
negative effect on poorer families and have a greater impact
on their food budget than on richer families.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - 00:00

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