Biting into a sub or hanging out at a pizza parlour just got dearer for Keralites. In a first-of-its-kind move in the country, Kerala has introduced a whopping 14.5 per cent 'fat tax' on junk food—pizzas, burgers, tacos and so on—sold through branded restaurants. This was announced by state Finance Minister Thomas Isaac as he presented the LDF government's first budget on July 8.
The state government has also made ready-to-eat chapatis dearer with the introduction of five per cent tax on wheat products in packets. Along with this, five per cent tax has been imposed on packaged basmati rice and coconut oil.
Other countries have also tried similar measures to exercise control over expanding waistlines.
Denmark introduced a fat tax in 2011. The fat tax, an extension of the chocolate tax, was condemned for its economic impact. Denmark scrapped it an year later saying the measure has only caused Danes to venture across the border to purchase their favourite unhealthy snacks.
Hungary: Initially called the 'hamburger tax', Hungary imposed a tax on food considered unhealthy, including crisps, soft drinks and chocolate bars.
France has introduced a tax on all beverages with added sugar or articial sweeteners. French parliamentarians had also voted for a similar tax to be imposed on energy drinks, like Red Bull and Monster.
Mexico battled its love for fizzy drinks by imposing a tax on soda. It is believed that Mexicans drink more soda than anyone else in the world.
Fat taxes have always been a point of global debate. Many nutrition experts believe taxation is a powerful tool that has been effective in campaigns to reduce smoking and alcohol consumption. But many questions remain about how to make it work when it comes to changing eating habits.