Portugal declares war on fats and limits sugar
The government taxes the soft drinks and imposes a vegan menu in the public soup kitchens.
It is not that Portuguese adults are especially fat; Are somewhat above the European average (16.6% vs. 15.9%), live as few and eat fish as none, but the country’s government and parliament have made 2017 the year of the war on sugar , Either by raising taxes, or by eliminating temptations from gluttonous sight.
If you are accustomed to drinking coffee you will have noticed that the sugar envelopes in Portugal seem lighter than anywhere else, and that sometimes you need to double the dose. The fault is not yours or the coffee, but the reduction of the contents of the envelopes of 8 to 5 grams of sugar.
To this subtle measure was followed at the beginning of the year fat-tax, a tax on soft drinks that exceed a certain level of sweeteners. The main manufacturer became angry, threatened not to open factories, but the tax has been implemented, as in many other countries.
By the end of this month, all hospitals and health centers in the country must have removed automatic food dispensers with high levels of salt, sugar, trans fats and alcohol. The water should be placed in more visible places and not in the lowest and hidden corner of the machine.
The battle against sugar will soon follow the presence of green in all public dining rooms. Thanks to a parliamentary initiative of the only deputy of the PAN environmental party, the Assembly of the Republic approved that all public kitchens have in their menu a vegetarian menu.
The measure will extend from May to hospitals and schools, but also any space of public ownership, whether a theater, an asylum or a jail. All must offer a menu that does not contain products of animal origin.
Veganism is not widespread in the country. The new law also provides that there is not enough demand for the green menu, in which case the public dining room will be exempt from that obligation. But vegan or not, childhood obesity is a problem that goes further and in Portugal as well.