With obesity rates rising to historic levels, the European nation of Hungary has taken preliminary steps to fight back. As of September 1, residents must now pay a €0.37 tax on foods high in fat, sugar or salt. There are also new tariffs on soda and alcohol.
The so called "fat tax" was adopted as the nation's obesity rate hit 18.8%, an all-time high. The country expects to make around €70 million from the measures annually, which will be used to help offset the rising costs of healthcare in the country. Hungary has an obesity rate a full 3% higher than the European average.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said of the new laws, "Those who live unhealthily have to contribute more." The country is currently running a €370 million health care deficit.
The measure is not the first of its kind in Europe. Denmark taxes soda and has charged more on candy for nearly 90 years. The country also introduced a ban on trans fats that was joined by Austria and Switzerland.
What do you think of the "fat tax?" Should the United States pass similar legislation?