THE new government cabinet have made their intentions clear on the country’s fight against obesity with a proposal to increase the vat on certain, unhealthy foods.
The proposal is part of a larger scheme that plans to introduce clearer labelling and a nutrition based award system of consumables.
Alberto Garzon a newly appointed Minister of consumption, announced his plans last week, that foods marked as unhealthy according to health experts will see their IVA doubled as part of a clampdown on obesity.
In a country that is rich with natural produce such as seafood, vegetables and oils, the government is fighting a newer generation that according to figures released by the Spanish Health Ministry, chooses to consume more processed, fried and “junk” food, putting the country in danger of an obesity crisis.
Currently, the IVA on food sits at 4% across the board. In new plans, the IVA will raise to 10% on foods that do not meet certain health standards.
This will be deemed on a “traffic light” system that will label items with appropriate colours, ranging from a dark green “A” score to a red “E” score.
The markings will be calculated using the products sugar content, saturated fatty acids, calories, and salt content.
The government is also calling for clearer labelling on the exact ingredients and foods designed to be consumed in public institutes such as hospitals and schools will now have to meet the model of quality and industry standards.
In a country where the life expectancy is currently nearly 83 years old due to the famous “Mediterranean diet”, the government is setting these measures into place to help educate the younger generation into a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.