Public health bodies refute food industry claims that “sin taxes” harm vulnerable people

EuroHealthNet, the European network of public bodies responsible for health promotion and public health measures, today refuted a statement by some food industries that new taxes on less nutritious food products will "hit" poorer people. EuroHealthNet member agencies work at national and regional levels to identify causes of the massive increases in obesity concerning policy makers, and are also part of the EU Platform on Diet, Health and Physical Activity.

Speaking today in Brussels, EuroHealthNet Director Clive Needle praised States such as Denmark, France and Hungary who have taken the lead, and said industry criticism shows that it realises the new taxes will be effective in bringing benefits to economies and changing consumer behaviours.

"Good food producers have nothing to fear from states acting to protect the health of people across the social gradient. We have worked for decades on why health inequalities persist, and better access to good quality affordable food is part of the solution. Taxing less healthy foodstuffs will encourage people - who are often confused by complex nutritional information - to choose more fruit and vegetables as part of a balanced diet, and to reduce consumption of salt, sugars and fats. We are happy to work with any producers who want to help that process, but we will also continue to recommend appropriate regulations and financial measures by states and the EU in addition to voluntary negotiations"

For more information

EuroHealthNet " promoting nutrition and physical activities to tackle obesity".

EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health Website

WHO Europe

OECD Study on obesity: Obesity and the Economics of Prevention: Fit not Fat

For more information contact

Communications Coordinator Ariane Moret


Tel.: + 32-2-235-03-28

Fax: + 32-2-235-03-39

Twitter: @eurohealthnet1