Taiwan mulls world's first junk food tax: report

Dec 21, 2009

Taiwan is planning the world's first tax on junk food in a bid to encourage the public to eat healthily and cut obesity rates, a report said Monday.

The Bureau of Health Promotion is drafting a bill to levy the special on food deemed unhealthy, such as , candy, cakes, fast food and alcohol, said the Apple Daily.

Revenue from the tax would finance groups promoting health awareness or subsidise the island's cash-strapped national health insurance programme, the report said.

The bill is expected to be submitted to the parliament for approval next year and could take effect around 2011, it said, citing the bureau's director Chiou Shu-ti.

Health officials contacted by AFP were not immediately available for comment.

Taiwan would be the first government in the world to impose junk food tax if the bill is passed, according to local health advocacy group John Tung Foundation.

"Overweight problems are getting worse in Taiwan with 25 to 30 percent of children obese, and it will cause more strain on our national health system," said Beryl Sheu, chief of the foundation's food nutrition division.

"Hopefully the tax will dissuade people from eating junk food and snacks and prompt food companies to make healthier products," she said.

Explore further: Background TV can be bad for kids

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Tougher rules sought on junk food ads

Sep 05, 2006

Experts attending the International Conference on Obesity in Sydney are calling for tougher rules to prevent promotion of junk food to children.

A surprising new strategy helps reduce unhealthy behaviors

Aug 22, 2008

Public health campaigns intended to reduce unhealthy behaviors like binge drinking and eating junk food often focus on the risks of those behaviors. But a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research suggests a relatively simple ...

Recommended for you

Background TV can be bad for kids

5 hours ago

Parents, turn off the television when your children are with you. And when you do let them watch, make sure the programs stimulate their interest in learning.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

freethinking
not rated yet Dec 21, 2009
US get use to this. Obama health care bill will tell you what you can eat as well.