In an effort to lower its dramatic obesity numbers (with one in two Germans being overweight), the Bundestag has announced its wish to increase the VAT on candy to the standard level of 19 %.
Obtain double mentality change through wallet
The German parliament hopes to battle obesity with this new measure: consumers will (hopefully) buy fewer quantities of candy and soda, while manufacturers will (hopefully) lower their products' sugar levels. "If I reach into people's wallets, I can change something", Elvira Dobrinski-Weiss of the socialist SPD party said. "Personally, I would like a general advertising ban on sweets, like they have in Scandinavia." That will probably not happen, though.
There are doubts that the VAT increase will actually help: Hungary and Denmark have already tried to limit the country's fat consumption with a so-called fat tax, but "that failed twice", Georg Wittich of the University of Applied Sciences, Hochschule Niederrhein said. The professor believes the government should focus more on prevention and awareness.