In a land with the world’s highest level of income equality, where butter, bacon and dumplings abound, and hills scarcely exist, one could say the average Dane had it made.
However, beneath these seemingly choice comestibles lie clogged arteries, expanding bellies and dwindling life spans. How is one to stop this culinary freight train of disaster?
A fat tax. For in a desperate bid to derail the country’s suicidal gourmands, the Danish Government has introduced a tax on goods such as pizza, butter and milk in a startling world first.
However, tackling the country’s ardent fat lovers will be no easy task, as Danish journalist Mathias Buch Jensen points out “Danes are big fans of butter…we love fat”. He adds Danes “are like naughty children, when they are told not to do something, they do it even more”.
Indeed, instead of reducing fat intake, the tax appears to have affected the opposite, as independent Copenhagen supermarket worker Christian Jensen reveals “it has been a chaotic week with a lot of empty shelves. People have been filling their freezers”.
Yes, faithful fat fanatics have forced Danish distribution companies to stock up heavily on butter, as the country struggles to pacify a situation spiralling wildly out of control.
The tax has even annoyed officials, as food director at Denmark’s Federation of Industries, Ole Linnet Juul, says it’s very complex, “involving tax rates on the percentage of fat used in making a product rather than the percentage that is in the end product”.
While the tax is set to increase the price of a burger by a mere £0.09 and a packet of butter by £0.25, it could cost Danish business £18 million in its first year. Di Foodstuffs spokeswoman, Gitte Hestehave, says the tax has taken innumerable hours to calculate, and probably won’t result in better heath.
Even Dr Flynn Flankers, renown sociologist at Denmark’s Food Analyses Terminal (FAT), says the tax will be about as effective as hunting for lions in the library, as Danes would sooner deprive themselves of oxygen or water than deny their gullets a daily wash of fine Danish fat.