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Swedish people want draconian moves to attach obesity – along Danish Lines

Monday, 25 June 2012
More Swedish people want their government to take more hawkish attitudes towards attacking the problem of obesity in the country. They feel that though the other Nordic countries such as Denmark are already taxing sugar and butter, Swedish politicians are doing nothing.

In a survey Swedish television carried out shows that a majority of Swedes want the state to do anything to prevent obesity just as the Nordic countries have introduced taxes on both sugar and fat.

Obesity in Sweden is growing now than ever before and Swedish people eat more and more unhealthy food. The average Swede is getting 90 litres of soda and 17 kg of sweets a year. Unhealthy eating habits, combined with an increasingly quiet sitting everyday life is a deadly combination for many Swedes. The proportion that is overweight has doubled in 20 years.

Claude Marcus, a paediatrician who researches obesity at the Karolinska Institute, is very worried.
“Obesity is a disease that leads to increased risk of premature death. It leads to increased social problems, increased fatigue and increased morbidity,” says Claude Marcus.

And it's not just the individual who suffers from obesity. The cost of health care and absenteeism from work and school caused by obesity are estimated at Skr15 billion a year. And the cost will increase. Claude Marcus is critical that the state cannot do more to prevent obesity in Sweden.
According to him, it is definitely a social failure that so many people, especially in vulnerable areas are allowed to develop obesity with no vigorous efforts being made to control it.

But in the other Nordic countries the situation is different. There the state has begun taxing unhealthy food to get people to eat healthier. In Denmark late last fall, a tax on saturated fats was introduced. This means that foods like ice cream, cakes, ready meals and meat products are more expensive than in Sweden. And in Finland there is an excise duty on sugar, which makes sodas and candy to become more expensive.

According to the Swedish Television survey, Swedish people also want the government takes more responsibility for preventing obesity with economic instruments. With the support from Sifo, the polling organisation, conducted for Swedish television, 53 percent of respondents in were in favour. And a third was in favour of introducing a fat tax in Sweden as in Denmark.
By Scancomark.se Team


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