Battling the Couch Potatoes, Hungary Introduces An Obesity Tax

Beginning Sept. 1, Hungarians will have to pay a 10 forint (€ 0.37) tax on foods with high fat, sugar and salt content, as well as increased tariffs on soda and alcohol. The expected annual proceeds of €70 million will go toward state health care costs, including those associated with addressing the country’s 18.8 percent obesity rate, which is more than 3 percent higher than the European Union average of 15.5 percent according to a 2010 report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In Germany, by comparison, 13.6 percent of adults are obese, with Romania at the bottom of the list with 7.9 percent.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said, “Those who live unhealthily have to contribute more.” In other words, the new law is based on the idea that those whose diets land them in the hospital should help foot the bill, particularly in a country with a health care deficit of €370 million.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Europe, Health & Medicine, Hungary, Taxes

4 comments on “Battling the Couch Potatoes, Hungary Introduces An Obesity Tax

  1. FrVan says:

    But being Hungary is what got them into that shape in the first place…

  2. clarin says:

    #1: Arrgh, you should be sent to the Goulash Archipelago for that!

  3. Jon says:

    #1… Cymbal Crash

  4. Lutheran Visitor says:

    What’s next, a tax on those who eat too much Turkey?