Israel Mulls Junk Food Tax to Check Expanding Waistlines
*Image courtesy Reuters
*Text courtesy IANS
In a bid to control growing obesity rates in the country, the Israeli government is all set to authorise a plan which will levy a special tax on junk food, media report said Thursday.
The initiative for the governmental plan follows a survey conducted last year by the Gertner Institute, which deals with health policies. The poll showed one-third of the respondents supporting tax on soft drinks and snacks.
According to the Health Ministry, 37 percent of Israeli adults and 14 percent of Israeli youths are overweight; 15 percent of adults and seven percent of the youths are obese, Xinhua reported.
The ministry's official estimate put government spending on tackling obesity at $1.45 billion.
"Other countries tax unhealthy foods, and the authority would like to examine the approach as a way of encouraging healthy eating," Eran Yaakov, deputy director general for finance and development at the tax authority told Ha'aretz daily.
Finland and Denmark already tax foods with high sugar levels, and Austria has implemented a similar tax on foods with saturated fat; France does the same with chocolate and candy.