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Sweden needs a fat tax to tackle obesity: expert

Joel Linde · 30 Sep 2011, 16:53

Published: 30 Sep 2011 16:53 GMT+02:00

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Denmark's "fat tax" is set to come into force on October 1st.

“I think we need a tax on saturated fat and on sugar, and perhaps above all, on soft drinks,” said Claude Marcus at Karolinska Institute to The Local.

Marcus explained that for the last 20 to 30 years, Sweden has undergone a very unhealthy price level shift, where candy and soda has become cheaper, while vegetables and fruits are getting increasingly expensive.

“This is an imbalance that’s harmful to the public health,” he said.

“Sweden has never before seen as much obesity and overweight people, and it’s a problem that costs 20 billion kronor ($2.9 billion) per year. Type 1 diabetes continues to increase and we don’t exactly know why, but we know that your lifestyle certainly affects it.”

But what Marcus suggests is not necessarily something that would make grocery shopping more expensive to Swedes, perhaps just change the balance.

“I think it’s reasonable when you know the dangers of these products, that you adjust taxes,” Marcus argued. “There would be a quite substantial tax for soft drinks and saturated fat, and use that money to lower or remove sales tax on fresh vegetables.”

In spite of this awareness and comparable tax increases for alcohol and tobacco, this is not a big debate in Sweden. Marcus finds this surprising since polls have shown a positive attitude among Swedes for the amendment in taxes.

Story continues below…

According to a report from TV4 news, the average Swede eats more than 15 kilogrammes of candy per year, which is about double the European average.

Annica Sohlström, Head of the Nutrition Department at the National Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket), said this is a result of the popularity of pick-and-mix candy.

“There aren’t many countries in the world that has this model where you pick your candy with a big spoon into a big bag,” Sohlström told TV4. “It’s easy to buy a lot more than what you had in mind.”

Joel Linde (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:07 September 30, 2011 by akhokhay
I have a better idea:

Tax on number of hair threads!

Tax on height of ppl!

tax on Weight!(
18:13 September 30, 2011 by canam
I actually 100% agree with this proposal. When you are in a socialized system of healthcare, every shrinking dollar counts. Paying excessive costs for preventable things such as obesity should be #1 priority.

Now, in the US system, I would say that this tax would be ridiculous, but here in Sweden, neighbors rely on neighbors to make this a functioning society.
18:24 September 30, 2011 by Abe L
Nonsense, simply deny obese people access to the socialized healthcare and make them pay for their own healthcare. Same goes for smokers. The tax would make no difference.

Instead they should force pricing regulations on healthy food, so it becomes more available to everyone. The prices for certain fruit and vegetables are shockingly high in Sweden.

And educate people on what food is and what food is not healthy. The food habits of the average Swede aren't exactly very healthy, a lot of pasta and those awful sausages but little vegetables.

If any tax payer money would need to be spend, it should be on research on how we can make fast-food less unhealthy. Such as the developments with sugar-free softdrinks, there is a start, it just needs to be done properly till the point where you don't notice the difference.
18:52 September 30, 2011 by Brianito
Abe L ..... FYI ....the tax the smokers pay actually props up the "health system" .... soon it will be useless because less people are smoking and all the non-smokers are going to have a nice tax increase. Why do you think the government is reluctant to ban smoking all together ? .... because of the big taxes they provide. I don't see you blaming the tobacco companies or the government, yet you pick on the easy target .... the smokers!!! Now you are picking on obese people ..... not the companies that produce the unhealthy food or the government that gladly takes the taxes. Any more "bright ideas" Abe L ?????
19:06 September 30, 2011 by missjane30
They are talking about doing this in the states as well, I think it's silly. People are going to buy what they want and eat what they want regardless how much you tax something. Just like smokers continue to smoke regardless of the tax increases on tobacco, same with alcohol.

I say if somebody wants to shorten their life span by eating junk food and smoking more power to them, it's not my body, not my problem. Can't police everybody all the time.
19:15 September 30, 2011 by calebian22
As canam pointed out, missjane, in Sweden we are responsible as a society for irresponsible behavior. Your health problems are our problems because our taxes pay for the health care system. Most people don't want to pay for other people's stupidity.
19:19 September 30, 2011 by jacquelinee
@ Abe L #3

"Nonsense, simply deny obese people access to the socialized healthcare and make them pay for their own healthcare. Same goes for smokers"

Lets not forget drug users. and drinkers and suntanners and sexually active people who do not use condoms and those who do not have a new battery in their fire alarm and those who use aerosol spray cans of hairspray and deodorant, or those who have neon lighting in their home or businesses. All of these also cause unnecessary use of healthcare facilities due to cancers etc.

Basically, the only people who do not abuse something that may impact their health in some way are infants and small children. Maybe they should be penalized too because of the choices their parents have made for them which could negatively compromise their health.

Get serious!
19:24 September 30, 2011 by nyag
Do they have this tax system in the US?????
21:01 September 30, 2011 by Cynic
So to combat that candy and soda has become cheaper the Porfessor think we should introduce a tax on staurated fats, Which candy and soda contains nothing of it? if soda, cand or diabetes is the problem a suggar tax would be motivated, a saturated fat tax is to combat butter, cream and cheese.
21:18 September 30, 2011 by Svensksmith
If alcohol and tobacco are taxed due to their health hazards, then so should fatty type food.
21:44 September 30, 2011 by riose
I want a tax on selling rotten veggies.

I would love to find fresh fruit at ICA for once.
22:09 September 30, 2011 by missjane30
@nyag, It's talked about often here. Remember we are a collection of states, not just a nation so each state is different, and have different laws. Some states tax things more than others.

@Calebian22, Soon the US will have socialized medicine as well, so what one person does will effect the other. My point was simply, where does it stop? If governments choose to tax our choices good or bad it starts to take away a person's right to choose.

I also don't think a soda or a piece of candy is going to kill somebody, I'm a firm believer in anything in moderation (well almost anything), but I guess some people have the need to be babysat?
22:14 September 30, 2011 by millionmileman

not quite yet but that Socialist blundering Bloomberg would love to. Actually if obese people or smokers for that matter, died sooner then they would not require heath care at an ever increasing cost and their Social Security would no longer be paid out. This would be a net gain!
22:32 September 30, 2011 by BrittInSweden
I did have a thought today after my pay packet showd two thirds of my monthly wage had gone on taxes leaving me with just enough for rent and food this month... I don't pay enough taxes, I wish there were more I could pay.
23:12 September 30, 2011 by hunnysnowbee
Lol @ the tax obese people comment. If you're going to make a comment like that, then at least be educated about ALL of the reasons people become obese before doing so! Not all obese people are over weight, because they sit around all day stuffing their faces with crap. There are certain medical conditions that can make you obese, hypothyroidism for a start, as lack of the thyroid hormone slows everything down in your body including metabolism. There are conditions, for which people have to take certain steroids that can make you obese, as well as other meds. Should these people be taxed an obesety tax as well?

I think it's a good idea to make junk food more expensive, and healthy foods cheaper. I think it's disgusting that it's cheaper to buy junk food than healthy fruit & veg!
23:14 September 30, 2011 by D. ane
Don't worry when we all become so poor that we cannot afford to buy food then we can eat what nature intended veg and fruit .

Well, with all these economic woes food will become too expensive to buy in excess as clearly most people do the moment - its nothing like a bit of poverty to slim you down!

People eat too much and waste too much - the great correction is on its way!
23:43 September 30, 2011 by waffen
Those who eat candy and drink junk soda-pop and sugar-filled drinks otherwise, and eat junk-food are simply hastening the removal of themselves from the gene pool.

That is their business.

The argument that the people in Sweden need nutrional education might apply in the United States, but Sweden is not the United States.

Everyone makes a choice.

When you choose to remove yourself from the gene pool because of what you eat, do so. The sooner that you remove yourself , the better.

Natural selection.
02:34 October 1, 2011 by Beavis
This is nonsense. Sweden has a far more serious problem of people who UNDER-EAT. This problem needs to be tackled. Tax all these low fat diet products with artifical everything in them.
07:16 October 1, 2011 by johnoleson
Unbelievably silly. When will Swedes take responsibility for their own personal health? How about taxing the obese or would that discriminate? Why not outlaw all unhealthy foods. When unhealthy food is outlawed, only outlaws will eat unhealthy food..
08:41 October 1, 2011 by Aquos
This is one of the silliest measures I have ever come across to fight obesity!

It's like a silly mama who's trying to stop her kid from eating much and tells him "Oh, if you have more candy, you're gonna pay for it!"

And you know what this kid is gonna end up doing? He's not gonna stop eating candy, he's gonna start stealing it!

This is exactly what might happen if that taxing system started.

Eating too much isn't just a desire to fight by adding more taxes for excess food. There are many reasons for excessive eating, could be psychological or/and physiological.

To "treat" obesity, there are certain measures to follow, not just add taxes!

And PLEASE....If some very skinny people think they are skinny only because they eat very little....WAKE UP! I know very obese people who barely eat anything, but they have a lower metabolic rate than their skinny counterparts. Why would we punish them for that? Strange!!!!!!
08:51 October 1, 2011 by calebian22

Sweden is all about the government being the Nanny to the people (and the people like it that way). Obviously, you either don't live here or haven't paid any attention to how things work.

As for the US, Barrycare is going nowhere. Even if it gets implemented, which it won't, it would be a spectacular failure. You can't have socialized medicine without Sweden-like tax rates.
10:03 October 1, 2011 by RedMinx
I am all for the introduction of a Fat Tax and I only hope the UK follows suit soon. As someone who is obese and struggles with their weight, eating and especially food I know for a fact that the introduction of a fat tax would make me think twice about what I put into my supermarket trolley and where I ate out.

I have a Binge Eating Disorder which has ruled my life for 20 years and at 34 I am now only waking up to realise that I have to tackle my weight and eating through the help of therapy. When supermarkets push fatting products on offer people like me are all too tempted to buy them, a well known supermarket in the UK constantly promotes unhealthy food but very rarely promotes fruit and veg. The cost of buying fruit, veg and salad is ridiculous and the price of these should be reduced to encourage people to buy them.

Personally give me a bowl of fruit over chocolate and crisps any day of the week, it's just when I have a bad day I would reach for the junk food but I am left feeling extremely guilty afterwards!

I may have a serious weight problem but I still exercise and attend a gym, it's just I allow food to rule my life all too often, but I hope gradually I will not want to buy the junk food and learn to control my binge eating for the sake of survival.
10:08 October 1, 2011 by fikatid
Swedes are definitely getting fatter. I started to see more and more "muffin-tops" summer after summer.
10:40 October 1, 2011 by Douglas Garner
Marilyn, I'm with you! People should be responsible for their own healthy choices, but I do like increasing taxes to discourage negative choices AND to assist in paying the consequences of those choices. Just like the cig. tax.

In my case... I drink only sugar free sodas. There is little evidence that these do any harm (according to my physician). Why should I be penalized the same as a high sugar drink user or even worse, a beer drinker (even low alcohol content beers are loaded with bed cholesterol.)
12:27 October 1, 2011 by jacquelinee
We see so many comments here on the entire spectrum of subjects and so often people are speaking out against bigotry, and prejudice. People are appalled by discrimination ...discrimination against immigrants, discrimination against Swedes, discrimination against the elderly, relgious preferences, sexual preferences, women etc etc etc. But pretty much everyone agrees to attack overweight people.

As "hunnysnowbee" pointed out in her post #15, some overweight people have medical conditions, not all, but some. It is all well and good to say "eat healthy" but if you a are person living in a situation where you have a low income, it can be very difficult. "healthy foods" like fish, good meat, fresh fruit and vegetables are expensive and pastas, potatoes, bread, rice etc are inexpensive. These are the foods, unfortunately, that are the worst offenders at making people gain weight. The way proteins work are to burn energy. The way carbohydrates work is that they store their calories as fat for future use. That is why you often see poor people who are overweight. It is not so much that they are "pigging out" as people assume, they simply can not afford to eat the foods that make their bodies run efficiently. It is no wonder you see more Swedes now heavier. People are so heavily taxed, many people simply do not have enough money left to feed their families the healthier foods. Then their are simply people who actually do eat too much. It is a fast foor culture and food is readily available. Some people do have a problem with overeating.

But all you have to do is read so many comments hear to see the hateful discrimination against overweight people AND IT IS TOTALLY ACCEPTED!!! That is a disgrace. People are out raged usually at discrimmination.

You who look at a big person and say "EWW" as you light up your cigarette, or your joint, or drink your whiskey or wine, or pop your anti anxiety pill, or stick your finger down your throat to keep your "great figure". Remember, the only difference between you and them is that their problem is visable and yours are hidden. I am thinking you posters here who are passing judgement may just be a bunch of hypocrits,
14:34 October 1, 2011 by glamelixir
Standing and clapping for @riose

I am so tired of buying overpriced fruits and vegetables that get rotten within 24 hours.
16:58 October 1, 2011 by canuk
if you look at those that are ACTUALLY fat, you will see that they are more often then not swedish people, africans, spanish, etc etc, these are people that are genetically predisposed to being fat, in fact in some countries the fatter a person is the richer they are as they can afford to eat. Typical swedish people are not fat.
21:55 October 1, 2011 by shiraz
This is good we need such legislation in the US. We are suffering from obesity here as well unfortunately.
02:44 October 2, 2011 by Visew
First, does fat really make you fat? I They haven't proved that. Aren't they now blaming carb??? Go to some southeast Asian countries and see how people there eat animal fat, but they are not obese. In those same countries, the richer people who learn to eat things like cakes, cookies, bread, muffins, ice cream, cheese...(which were not in their traditional diet before) are getting fat and are struggling to find ways to lose weight!

And wasn't it just the other day we read on the Local "Sweden battles national butter shortage ..." blaming "back to basic cooking trend" because now those scientists have different ideas about fat, saturated fat, trans fat, carbs...and how we get fat. We do not have to copy Denmark. Let them go first and see what that law bring to them. Or maybe this is a way to help with the butter shortage and obesity is the mere excuse???
04:09 October 2, 2011 by ctinej
First everyone must realize that if you dont put it in your mouth, it cant get on your sides.

In the US we can study the third world without leaving home. Visit a Walmart. Here we see tons of fat people loading up their carts with nothing but coke, mac and cheese, and junk food.

Then they want us to pay for them to see a shrink because they cant help buying junk food. I dont buy it.

They speak English about as well as they buy healthy food. Simply put, they are ones who don't pay attention to teachers in school, sit in front of the TV most of the time and wonder where to play the next video game.

Their "learning disability" is in part due to the junk food that their uneducated parents feed them. FAT is not genetic in the sense of DNA, it runs in the family because the young ones inherit the horrible food habits of their parents.

Maybe 1 in 100 of the fat ones have something off in their metabolism.. The rest just eat too much of the wrong food.

Just look in the shopping carts of fat people. End of debate.
04:14 October 2, 2011 by JoeE
Saturated fat, well all fats actually, aren't what make people fat. It's very unfortunate that fat is called fat. Since people see the word fat and assume that if you eat it that is what will stick to your sides and clog your heart. But anyone who understands physiology knows that when you eat carbohydrates (sugar, flour, etc) your body produces insulin and captures those carbs and processes them into fats. It is a very simple molecule for your body to shape into storage form.

On the other hand you have fats, mostly complex molecular structures that take a lot of time for your body to digest. It also fuels your energy for long periods of time. Different types of fat have different effects on your body, but for the most part your body doesn't store them easily or at all. Have you ever sat down to a meal that was very rich and fatty and half way into the meal you realize your very full and don't want to eat any further? Thats because your body naturally produces chemicals that keep you from eating too much fat.

Anyone who wants to know more about how fats and cholesterols are good for us should check out the Weston A Price Foundation at www.westonaprice.org and check out their information. Lots of studies from around the world as well as debunking the bad information our world has unfortunately taking for truth. This isn't just some diet fad, it's doctors and nutrionists and very science based. Prove them wrong if you want, you'd better have some hard data though.
04:15 October 2, 2011 by ctinej
canuk didnt have a brain fart. it was just a typo. He may have held it in. Clinical studies have proven that if you hold in farts, they move up to your brain, and then you get crappy ideas.
04:34 October 2, 2011 by johnoleson
Simple lesson for all- if you take in more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. It's not that complicated. People with a high metabolism move more even while resting than people with a low metabolism. Muscle burns more calories than fat. An extremely fit person can consume extra calories from supposedly unhealthy sources with no ill effects. This tax plan is ill conceived.
04:46 October 2, 2011 by Larry Thrash
We need a tax on "experts".
06:22 October 2, 2011 by dc73654
I had never heard of this before but think it's a great idea. There is no nutritional value to candy and soda. I don't want to increase prices on healthy food but if this is what it takes to get people to eat less of the crap I say go for it. I'm tired of breaking my back literally and figuratively as a nurse.
16:20 October 2, 2011 by t64
Have you ever heard of the bovines diet. They naturally graze grass. When forced to eat grains they become fat. They get to eat all day as much as they want and they eat what most humans won't eat. I propose taxing all foods except grass to encourage the bovine diet.

19:57 October 2, 2011 by ctinej
marlyn, , The third world statement was a joke. Fact is that most of the fat people I see in Walmart are "poor white trash" as the saying goes. Because this derogatory statement is related to white people, it isn't considered discriminatory.

I must be poor white trash, because I have been in Walmart.

You people need to get off this discrimination thing. We cant live life with blinders on that prevent us from observing and commenting on facts. "Discrimination" results in part, from observing "earned" reputations.

If we decide to stop the destruction of the world due to the infestation of humans, we would NOT send Counselors and birth control items to Native Swedes. You "grease the squeaky wheel". The Malignant Breeders are the Immigrants, pure and simple. If you see, observe, and act accordingly, you can direct the cure toward the cause of the problem.
01:40 October 3, 2011 by DavidtheNorseman
I thought discrimination based on bodily appearance was illegal in Sweden... :-)
08:28 October 3, 2011 by sjuttiosjusköterskorpåsjukhuset
@ jacquelinee: Once again, I wholeheartedly agree with both of your posts above. That they associate sweets and carbohydrates solely with overweight people is really ignorant. I know of diabetics who are thin as a rail, underweight, and when their blood sugar readings get too low, like below 90, they get the shakes and go into diabetic hypOglycemia to a point of near or actually collapsing. Their saving grace: a soft drink or candy. When I was younger, I myself put on the weight from eating junk fast food often because it was so convenient while working two jobs. Why not go after the fast food junkies? These kind of tax policies in which a particular segment of the consumer population is singled out for higher taxation while others are not is a form of what I call health-nut totalitarianism. And when they come after you red meat eaters for having to pay more in higher taxes because you know red meat IS unhealthy for you, and all that's left are the totalitarian vegetarians who don't have to pay more, you red meat lovers will be the first to cry "foul."
13:47 October 3, 2011 by jacquelinee
I am very confused by this article and the picture that has recently been posted. I totally understood the picture of the candy, as the articles was speaking about taxing products that contain high levels of sugars and fats and those were the proposed items to have sort of the same "luxury tax" as cigarettes and alcohol etc. I buy this completely, and feel manufaturers should have more restraints and laws in effect on them to act responsibly in food production instead of adding fats, fillers, sugars etc because they simply make the product less expensive to produce but also far more unhealthy.

My confusion comes from the photograph of the obese person. Is it the tax to be placed on consumable products that contain these high levels of sugars and fats, or will it be on your income tax form as a personal tax if you are overweight? If it is on the consumables, then it should have a picture of the offending food products rather than this person, so it is less confusing.
17:46 October 3, 2011 by t64
Jacqe, I'm pretty sure "The expert" means to tax the consumable products. The picture of the portly person is to show us what will become of us all if the tax isn't enacted. My proposition is to watch Denmark and see if it "cures" their fat problem and drives down their health care costs. And if it does work we could mandate all pedestrians to wear head protection (you know, the invisible one invented by a Swede) to prevent head injuries as they can be very costly to the healthcare system. One head injury is one too many.

t64 also a savant

The father of the good government ideas.
17:59 October 3, 2011 by jacquelinee
I really don't know if it will make an iota of difference. Cigarettes and alcohol are taxed like crazy and I seiously doubt that anyone has ever stopped drinking because of the tax on booze.

I think more strict guidelines in food production could be a viable alternative. Manufacturers legislated to have less than a certain percentage of salt, sugars, saturated fats etc. Much of the processed food we buy is just chemicals, fat, sugar and starch. Labelling of food products should be far more user friendly. For example...the label should read 10 grams of fat (plain and simple) instead of 10 grams of dextradehalumated friolecfetra sulfrtolien or someting similar.

But, of course, as it always is...it is much more cost efficient to take the quick way out and just tax the user rather than hold the manufaturer accountable.
10:25 October 4, 2011 by Marc the Texan
Tax on saturated fat? The body needs saturated fat to survive. How about taking the MSG and other chemicals out of snack foods that make them so addictive you can't just eat one. How about telling the public the difference between table sugar and high fructose corn syrup and its effects. Sugar is sucrose (one part fructose and one part glucose). Some important differences in how it metabolized compared to straight fructose.

How about putting out some updated diet advice into the public square. I see so many articles based on bad advice from the '90s still floating around. For starters try updating your outdated idea of a healthy diet, read this 9 year old article by Gary Taubes.


Karolinska should be embarrassed by this guy's statement on saturated fat. A lot more research has been done on saturated fat. Pretty well known that carbohydrates are a much bigger problem than fats.
13:51 October 5, 2011 by Marc the Texan
Yes I posted the famous article by Gary Taubes and of course his even more famous book 'Good Calories, Bad Calories'. As I said, it is a starting point. But people who don't read books on nutrition and get their nutrition information in small bite sized articles will still be getting bad, old, recycled and debunked info on Yahoo News.

Taubes did a lot of the heavy lifting by shining a light on what the science shows about fats, proteins and carbs. He did a lot to turn the information tide, but there is still so much bad info being published every day. As I mentioned, you can still go to popular news sites and find weight loss articles that are still essentially recommending high carb diets as well as still scaring people about saturated fats. I wouldn't be surprised if the guy from Karolinska gets his information on saturated fats from Yahoo News. Saturated fat is still so vilified by entrenched interests that the Wikipedia article on saturated fat will make most people think it causes every chronic disease in the book. How unfortunate.
19:04 October 5, 2011 by johnoleson
Enough! This isn't about malnourishment or the perfect diet but obesity. More calories consumed than expended equals weight gain. Yes, we are always learning about better nutrition and different ploys and plans feed the high dollar and trendy weight loss industry but the bottom line always remains the same-DON"T EAT MORE THAN YOU USE.
22:27 October 5, 2011 by johnoleson
Marilyn, Oh Marilyn,

I don't want to appear rude, as I see your name on so many letters I consider you to be one of The Local's sponsors, but the bottom line, tried and true, is excessive calories = weight gain, insufficient calories = weight loss.

Not rocket science or advanced Swedish studies, just age old fact.
10:17 October 7, 2011 by JaneL
I think a tax on unhealthy food is a good idea. Low income earners may choose to buy less nutritious foods because they're cheap. By adding a tax--although I don't like taxes...who does?--it will level the playing field. Maybe if healthy and unhealthy foods are around the same price point people will instead choose to eat the healthier option. Though I don't think Sweden is really in trouble in terms of obesity, perhaps it will prevent it going that way.
10:24 October 8, 2011 by OUIJA
I am new here. I do not understand why my comment about

that Sweden should be taxed on everything was not accepted

due to profanity..

I did not use abusive, vulgar or irreverent language. I just

wrote that Sweden should have more taxes and then I wrote

a list of possibilities.

I can see now that a tax on freedom of speech should be one

more of the taxes to have in our country.

I think profanity is in the minds of some so-called editors.
19:04 October 8, 2011 by willowsdad
Wonderful! Another issue for the perpetually righteous to wax perpetually righteous about and another group of people they can feel superior to.
21:52 October 9, 2011 by OUIJA
Profanity is to tax fat. Too much carbohydrates equals fat people and provokes diabetes. Less carbohydrates equals healty people and the possibility to control diabetes I or II. I can control my weight and diabetes at will just by controlling the intake of carbohydrates.

And nobody can prove the contrary. Nobody. No matter what they write. If I, like thousands more are the exeception of the rule, good for me. Meat, fish, poultry, vegetables and at least 30 minutes walk a day, has kept the doctor away.
15:59 October 10, 2011 by Opalnera
I really hope they do lower the tax on fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meat and impose a special tax on Billys Pizza.
19:11 October 11, 2011 by SockRayBlue
Involving government in an ignorant idea only spreads to more stupidity. Is this really an attempt to get the "chubbies" out of sight because they are offensive to the eye? Let me suggest a better idea. The amount of money spent by these souls helps the economy in many unforeseen ways. Clothing, building improvements and the list goes on. Now if Sweden, the home of my ancestors, is serious about ridding the country of these oversized behemoths then why not let them feed to their hearts content. Obviously the effect will take effect over time with heart attacks, strokes, bowel disease and many other infirmities. The state can well pass any law stating that self induced corpulence is not covered by the countries health care. Now THAT would shape things up quite speedily and not generate any new, and stupid, taxes.
08:57 October 13, 2011 by Marc the Texan

You are wrong. The reason I posted the link and the book is precisely because it is NOT a simple calculation of calories. It is just not that simple. That fallacy has been disproven, and Taubes' entire tome is dedicated to showing a lay audience that this is what the science is and how it was misrepresented over decades.

Calories are not the same. That was my point. They are metabolized very differently depending on where they are coming from. Update your ideas, because you are spouting a proven fallacy that seems like common sense, but is actually wrong.
22:03 March 24, 2012 by How to diet
Why not to forbid poisoning people with tobacco and unhealthy food?? Not to tax them more, but to make them qualify their production (i.e. food) and to forbid tobacco for sure. Why it is still legal at all? Why do they still make money steeling them from the governments and Medicaid due to the sickness and deaths of us all? And overweight people must receive support from psychologists, ideologists, must receive discounts at gyms and etc. Let us feel that our society cares about us, wish us the best and does not despise us for our problem which we are not able to solve ourselves. That's why we have it. And if you tax us for our body kilograms for Medicaid or plain tickets we will be much unhappier and less self confident. We will be even more ashamed of ourselves and will exercise and go out less, we will eat more and gain even more overweight. As Bild, the German newspaper, estimated that treatment for obesity-related illnesses cost Germany some £16 billion a year, so better spend that money for our wellness showing that you care, understand and help youself by helping us!

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Why the Pope is visiting Sweden next week
Pope Francis in the Vatican. Photo: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

Pope to nail reconciliation agenda to Lutherans' door in southern Sweden.

The Local Recipes
How to make no-knead sourdough bread like a Swede
No-knead sourdough bread. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Swedes love their sourdough bread. Food writer John Duxbury shares his favourite Swedish recipe for a no-knead loaf.

Meet Sweden's lonely Donald Trump voter
A Donald Trump campaign button. Photo: Rogelio V Solis/AP

The Local talks to an American Donald Trump supporter on what it is like living in progressive stronghold Sweden.

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Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
People-watching: October 26th
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‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

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