Customers could have to pay extra taxes on sugary and salty foods according to proposal set to be unveiled by the Department of Health.
Raising the level of VAT on fatty and salty foods from 5% to 19.5% is among the plans set to tackle obesity and related health problems.
According to Les Echos newspaper a report by the Inspection Générale des Affaires Sociales recommends levying higher taxes on foods like mayonnaise, butter, crisps and biscuits.
The report also hints that alcohol, including wine – which has remained at the same taxation level since 1982 – could also be taxed more heavily due to its effect on certain types of cancer.
Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot has already stated she wants to move sweets away from supermarket counters and ban the advertising of junk food during children’s TV programmes.
Vending machines have been banned in schools since 2005.
While the money raised would go towards the balancing the budget of the health system, Budget Minister Eric Woerth said any rise in taxes would be tempered by a need to keep inflation down.
Two-thirds of French men, and half of women, aged 35 to 74 are thought to be overweight, according to a study released in June, while one fifth of all adults are obese.