A so-called fat tax has been defeated in Canada’s most populous province. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty backed down from an earlier decision that would have eliminated the 8%  provincial tax exemption that currently benefits Ontarians who order meals under C$4 (US$2.95).

McGuinty said he had been trying to encourage families, and younger people in particular, to make healthier choices when it came to their eating.

Fastfood giant McDonald’s and doughnut-maker Tim Hortons rallied customers against the idea, with anti-tax and poverty groups joining in with their opposition.

Ontario is the first Canadian province to float the idea.