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Poll Supports 'Tax on Fat'

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Nov 30, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Two out of five New Zealanders would be happy to support a 'fat tax' to combat the country's obesity problem.

A Phillips Fox poll for the National Business Review suggested that in the South Pacific country's biggest city, Auckland, 47 percent of those asked told pollsters they would support such a tax, United Press International reported.

The fast food industry was quick to challenge the report. Liam Jeory, McDonald's director of corporate relations in New Zealand, questioned whether those polled appreciated that cheese and butter, one of the country's key exports, had a higher fat content than burgers and that New Zealand's diary giant Fonterra would be severely hit by such a tax.

Dr. Russ Finnerty, President of Diabetes New Zealand, commented: "The poll suggests that the continuing media exposure about fat and obesity has raised awareness of the harmful effects of fat."

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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