Germany: Foodwatch calls for abolition of VAT on fruit and vegetables

Consumer organization Foodwatch has called on the future federal government to exempt fruit and vegetables from VAT. This should promote a healthier diet, especially for children, said Foodwatch on the occasion of yesterday's "Jamaika" exploratory talks on agriculture and consumer protection.

"There are many disincentives that unnecessarily complicate a healthy diet: advertising, which directs even small children mainly to sweets, incomprehensible nutritional labels, and not least pricing. It is about time that a healthy diet is facilitated through fiscal measures, and this is justifiably recommended by the World Health Organization. If the Jamaika Coalition is serious in wanting to promote a healthy diet, they must act accordingly. The VAT on fruit and vegetables must be abolished. This will aid both the people and current health policy goals,” said Foodwatch CEO Martin Rücker.

Malnutrition and obesity are a serious problem, especially concerning children. Obesity alone causes about 63 billion euros in follow-up costs in Germany every year. 15 percent of the children in this country are overweight, with 6 percent even being obese. They are more susceptible to diseases such as diabetes, joint pains, high blood pressure and heart disease. Compared to the 1980s and 1990s, the proportion of overweight children has increased by 50 percent. The most important reason for the problem of being overweight: children aren’t eating right.

According to a comprehensive study by the state-run Robert Koch Institute, children are eating too few plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, bread, potatoes and other products, rich in carbohydrates. At the same time, most children eat too much meat and sausages and as they grow older they generally eat too many high-fat animal foods. And above all, children consume sweets, snack foods, sugary cereals and sodas in far too large quantities.

Source: Foodwatch

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