When the World Health Organisation vowed to fight child obesity “tobacco-style” six years ago, few actually paid attention.
The campaign against tobacco – steep taxes on cigarettes, coupled with regulation on tobacco use and advertising – has since gained traction and has offered governments a blueprint for tackling obesity.
One after the other, European countries have implemented restrictive measures on the sale and marketing of pre-packaged food and drinks, in the pursuit of health policies.
Denmark’s infamous “fat tax” was the first of its kind worldwide and probably inspired others. But it also had unintended consequences and was eventually scrapped, officially because of the administrative costs it created but also probably because of the disruption in border trade it created with neighbouring Germany.