Without getting into a political discussion, this wrong-headed move by Denmark is what many are pushing for in the UK and the US.

Conversations about government over-regulation and nanny-states aside, we are now basing it on really bad science:

Body blow for butter-loving Danes as fat tax kicks in | World news | The Guardian

In a sunny park in Copenhagen, Mathias Buch Jensen was unimpressed. All around him, people were tucking into beer and chips. There were few signs that the latest offensive in the worldwide war on obesity was having much effect.

But then Denmark might not be the best place to experiment with a "fat tax" on lardy products. "You know, Danes are big fans of butter," Buch Jensen mused. "We love fat."

He added: "Knowing the Danes, it could have the opposite effect. Like naughty children, when they are told not to do something, they do it even more."

In a country known for butter and bacon, Denmark's new tax is a body blow. Danes who go shopping today will pay an extra 25p on a pack of butter and 8p on a packet of crisps, as the new tax on foods which contain more than 2.3% saturated fat comes into effect. Everything from milk to oils, meats and pre-cooked foods such as pizzas will be targeted. The additional revenue raised will fund obesity-fighting measures.

The move has parallels elsewhere in Europe. Hungary has recently imposed a tax on all foods with unhealthy levels of sugar, salt and carbohydrates, as well as goods with high levels of caffeine. Denmark, Switzerland and Austria have already banned trans fats, while Finland and Romania are considering fat taxes.

But it is Britain which has the biggest obesity problem in Europe, and campaigners have urged the government to follow Denmark's lead. Tam Fry, spokesman for the National Obesity Forum, said: "It is not a question of whether we should follow the Danes' lead – we have to. If we don't do anything about it, by 2050, 70% of the British population will be obese or overweight and that would result not only in the downfall of the NHS but also of our national workforce."