The public catering decree in Hungary: Intersectoral public health action to improve nutrition and address social inequalities with a binding legal instrument (2018)




The Public Catering Decree was published in 2014 after a long preparatory phase and intense intersectoral cooperation with relevant stakeholders. This legal tool is one component of a complex set of public health measures to address the root causes of obesity. The Decree pertains to dietary risk factors primarily in educational settings (including free summer meals for disadvantaged children) and in hospitals and addresses not only health-related but also social and equity issues.

Three years after its introduction, favourable changes in the school nutrition environment were seen, and a positive change in the attitude of the food industry. Robust communication activities to supplement the legislation improved understanding of its public health goals, thus strengthening the public perception and acceptance.