Hungary taxes unhealthy foods

Hungary is one of the first countries to introduce taxes on “unhealthy” food. The tax aims to contribute to a positive change in the national diet therefore improving population health and also to raise revenue. The tax was enforced in September 2011. The Hungarian government formulated the policy recommendations supporting this in close cooperation with the WHO Country Office, Hungary and WHO/Europe. 

The new tax stirred a global debate and has set an example for other countries. It was reported that in the last two months,  2.4 billion HUF were raised as additional resources for health care. These funds are to be used for a special bonus to 42 000 health employees. The health impact assessment and evaluation of the new public health tax will take place in 2012-13.