Fat Tax Spreads from Hungary to Denmark

Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Europe is beginning to embrace the concept of a “fat tax” in an effort to reduce obesity and its associated health care costs. Hungary, with a 19% obesity rate, has had a special tax on candy for more than 85 years.  On September 1 of this year, it imposed a tax on packaged products with high sugar, salt or caffeine levels. This includes energy drinks with added sugar and caffeine, soft drinks with added sugar and soup and gravy mixes. The Hungarian government estimates it will collect $100 million a year from the food tax. It will apply the funds to the nation’s health care budget.
Now Denmark, where the obesity rate is 13%, has followed with the first-ever tax on foods high in saturated fat. The fat tax, which will be levied on wholesalers, will come to about $6.27 per pound of saturated fat. Ole Linnet Juul, food director at Denmark’s Confederation of Industries told The Los Angeles Times that this will add 40 cents to a hamburger and 12 cents to a bag of chips.
-David Wallechinsky
Denmark Taxes Fatty Products (by Richard Orange, The Telegraph)
Hungary Introduces 'Fat Tax' (by Catherine Cheney, Spiegel Online)


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