Jul 27, 2010

Germany considers a fat tax

A German member of parliament has said those who deliberately lead unhealthy lives should be held financially accountable for their actions and should be taxed to help pay for the cost of treating obesity-related illnesses which is about €17 billion, or $21.7 billion, a year.

The report says Germany, famed for its beer, pork and chocolates, is one of the fattest countries in Europe with twenty-one percent of German adults said to have been obese in 2007.

Health economist wants to tackle the problem of fattening snacks in order to raise money and reduce obesity.

"One should, as with tobacco, tax the purchase of unhealthy consumer goods at a higher rate and partly maintain the health system. That applies to alcohol, chocolate or risky sporting equipment such as hang-gliders."

Others want even more extreme measures such as weighing school kids each day.

The fat kids would then be reported to social services, who would have the authority to send them to health clinics.