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Hungary prepares for September 1 fat tax Print

From September 1 Hungarian food manufacturers will have to pay a tax of 10 forint (?0.37) for foods bearing fat, sugar and salt at levels over a certain threshold, something backed by some consumer groups concerned about eating habits that promote the rise of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The Hungarian government says the tax will raise ?70m per year ? money which it says will offset public health costs of treating the consequences of high-fat, sugar and salt diets.
While Hungary?s obesity problem is not as big as in countries like the US where the percentage of obese adults exceeds 30%, it sits at around 20% and has been getting worse.

Critics of the taxes point to examples like Denmark where obesity rates have risen, like most other developed world nations, despite in its case implementing a tax of high-sugar confectionery in the 1920s.

Denmark fat tax
Denmark introduced a saturated fat tax at the start of the year with the country?s tax ministry calculating that butter prices will rise by 14% under the new tax regime, with margarine up 21% and whipped cream 12%.

The Danish Chamber of Commerce opposed the proposal because of its potential damage to productivity and imports, and the Chamber says the tax could even promote food with more harmful additives as an unwanted consequence.

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