The Israeli government with the help of the Tax Authority is taking concrete steps to ensure that its people develop healthy eating habits to curb obesity.
The Health Ministry for the first time endorsed a plan that will permit special labeling of healthy foods, a leading Israeli newspaper 'Haaretz' reported.
"There are countries that tax unhealthy food," deputy director general for finance and development at the Tax Authority Eran Yaakov was quoted as saying by the paper.
According to an official data, 37 per cent of Israeli adults are overweight and another 15 per cent are chronically obese. Fourteen per cent of Israeli youth are overweight and another seven per cent are obese.
According to the survey, an estimated USD 1.45 billion (NIS 5.8 bn) every year is spent on health care for overweight Israelis.
"It's all a matter of education," he said, "which needs to be promoted through the schools."
The initiative to tax unhealthy food follows a survey by the Gertner Institute, an organization that deals with health policy, in which one-third of those questioned supported a special tax on soft drinks and snacks to encourage healthy food and combat obesity in the country.
Fully two-thirds of those surveyed said they would support the tax if it is earmarked to fighting excess weight or to subsidizing healthy foods.
The poll was conducted following the outbreak of social justice protests, which focused in part on the price of food and tax policy, the newspaper said.