Danes top international health study

Denmark stands out in a new international study. It is the only country where there is widespread acceptance by the general public that politicians increase taxes to promote healthy eating habits.

2012.04.25 | Tine Bagger Christiansen

Danish consumers are attracting attention in a new international study on healthy heating. More than 3,000 consumers from five European countries were asked whether they are willing to accept national economic interventions to promote healthy eating habits. The results are unequivocal: 

? Danes have the most positive attitude towards economic interventions within the nutritional area, and are also willing to pay more to eat more healthily, says one of the architects of the study, PhD, Jessica Aschemann-Witzel from Aarhus University, Business and Social Sciences at Department of Business Administration.

As many as 70 percent of Danes participating in the study are prepared to pay more tax to get healthier food and more information on what constitutes healthy food.  In the other participating countries, In the other participating countries, willingness to pay higher taxes was approx. 20 percent lower.

- Danes often have more faith in the public authorities and are used to paying high taxes, and therefore they are not as dismissive to changes in these areas as other populations, says Jessica Aschemann-Witzel.

The countries covered by the study are the UK, Italy, Belgium, Denmark and Poland.

The results were discussed at an international workshop in March 2012, which was organised by Aarhus University. Here, representatives from various ministries, NGOs (Non-governmental Organisations) and universities participated. 

At the workshop, Denmark’s representatives, Associate Professor Tino Bech-Larsen and Assistant Professor Jessica Aschemann-Witzel from Aarhus University, Business and Social Sciences, discussed amongst others why the responses from Danish participants differed to those from participants in the other countries, and what this clear Danish attitude may mean for future health policies in Denmark.


  • The study is called the EATWELL study, and is part of the larger EATWELL project, which is funded by the EU Commission.
  • The study is based on more than 3,000 random interviews carried out online, of which approx. 600 were with Danes.
  • EATWELL is an EU FP7-financed project, which runs from April 2009 to September 2012.
  • The EATWELL consortium consists of teams from the University of Reading, University of London (SOAS), Aarhus University, Ghent University, University of Bologna, The National Institute of Research on Food and Nutrition of Italy, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraft Foods R&D and EACA (European Association of Communications Agencies).
  • More information about the project can be found at www.eatwellproject.eu.



Jessica Aschemann-Witzel, Assistant Professor
Aarhus University, Business and Social Sciences
Department of Business Administration
E-mail: jeaw@asb.dk
.: +45 8716 5217

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