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Reducing the VAT on healthy food items could reduce the burden on healthcare

Reducing the VAT on healthy food items could reduce the burden on healthcare

Over the past 10 years, lifestyle habits such as smoking, being overweight, sedentary and alcohol consumption have burdened society with between 40 and 55 billion Swedish krona annually. At the same time, health care needs to deal with an aging population and increasing demand for social care services.

Christian Bollen, professor of health economics at the University of Gothenburg's School of Economics, said in the SNS report: The importance of prevention to finance future well-being It investigated how significant savings in health care could be achieved if the lifestyles of Swedes were improved and if the measures taken to achieve these improvements were cost-effective. One of the report's proposals is to consider and study tax differentiation on food based on health impacts.

The reason for imposing special taxes on AAlcohol and tobacco specifically promote overall health. To the extent that you support this, it becomes natural to ask whether reducing VAT on healthy foods would also enhance public health. Even if one does not support special taxes on alcohol and tobacco, a value-added tax on differentiated foods remains a possibility that should be taken into consideration. “Here there may be untapped opportunities to reduce many of the most common diseases associated with our lifestyle,” says Christian Poulin.

The report shows that if the proportion of Swedes who smoke, are overweight or obese, are insufficiently physically active and/or are high-risk alcohol users decreased by 10 percent over a ten-year period, healthcare costs would fall by about 10.3 kroner. Swedish. one billion.

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In addition to reducing the VAT on healthy foods, the report also suggests other measures to improve lifestyles. Pauline recommends using information technology more effectively and investigating how existing treatments for smoking cessation, alcohol reduction and weight loss can be used more widely.