Romanians flocking to burger joints in their post-communist gorge may soon be subject to a junk food tax intended to reduce national obesity rates and fill government coffers. “As a standard-bearer for healthy eating, Romania is not the first country that springs to mind. The eastern European nation’s cuisine, rich in sour cream, butter and lard, is custom-made to clog arteries and stop hearts. Yet the Romanian government is seeking to become the first in the world to impose a tax on junk food. The proposed levy on ‘unhealthy’ products high in fat, sugar and salt is aimed at improving the poor quality of its citizens’ diets – but will also boost the national exchequer by an estimated £860m.The Romanian experiment is being watched closely by other countries desperate for measures to halt the global explosion in obesity. The European Public Health Alliance wrote to the Romanian Prime Minister Emil Boc to back the planned new tax after it was announced by the Health minister Attila Cseke in January, and said it could provide a model for other EU states to emulate in years to come.”
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