Mexico City Bets on Tap Water Law to Change Habit

January 24, 2014

woman shopping for water in big box storeAbc News, January 24, 2014

“Drink the water.” It’s a suggestion alien to Mexico City residents who have long shunned tap water in favor of the bottled kind and to the throngs of tourists who visit the city each year, bringing with them fears of “Montezuma’s Revenge.” But a law recently approved by Mexico City’s legislators will require all restaurants to install filters so they can offer patrons free, drinkable water that won’t lead to stomach problems and other ailments.

“We need to create a culture of water consumption,” said Dr. Jose Armando Ahued, health secretary for Mexico City. “We need to accept our water.” Bad tap water accounts in part for Mexico being the world’s top consumer of bottled water and — worse — soda, some 43 gallons per person a year. With an obesity epidemic nationwide, the city’s health department decided to back the water initiative.

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Mexico enacts soda tax in effort to combat world’s highest obesity rate

January 16, 2014

Coca Cola BottlesThe Guardian, 01/16/2014

A groundbreaking tax on sugar-sweetened beverages recently passed in Mexico could provide the evidence needed to justify similar laws across low- and middle-income countries and cities in the US, experts believe.

Campaigners and public health experts are watching closely to see what impact Mexico’s tax has on consumption. Mexico, where 32.8% of the population is obese, is now the country with the biggest weight problem in the world, according to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation, overtaking the United States. The impact on health has been serious – 14% of the population has diabetes. Rates of high blood pressure, which can lead to stroke and heart attacks, are also high.

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Many Hesitant To Sign Up For Obamacare Because Of Immigration Repercussions

December 18, 2013

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants 2 participate in march for Immigrants and Mexicans protesting against Illegal Immigration reform by U.S. Congress, Los Angeles, CA, May 1, 2006Fox News Latino, 12/18/2013

Day after day, Adonias Arevalo tried to calm his parents’ nerves, attempting to convince them it was safe for him to apply for government-subsidized health insurance through the nation’s new coverage system.

Like many other immigrants, Arevalo’s parents worried that personal information on their son’s application could somehow draw immigration authorities’ attention to the couple, who emigrated here illegally from El Salvador seven years ago.

After a week of discussion, the 22-year-old Houston man, who works at a community center and has temporary legal status, finally eased their fears. But other immigrant families remain leery, and some are so concerned that they would rather see loved ones go without coverage than risk giving personal information to a federal agency.

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Chicago’s Heroin Problem: City’s Open-Air Drug Markets’ Surprising Connection To Mexican Drug Cartels (Video)

December 13, 2013

The Huffington Post, 12/12/2013

chicagoIn a Wednesday panel on HuffPost Live, Reader reporter Mick Dumke, Bloomberg reporter John Lippert and Chicago Recovery Alliance director Dan Bigg spoke on the Windy City’s heroin “open-air” heroin markets on the city’s West Side and its connection to the powerful Sinaloa Mexican drug cartel and its kingpin, “Public Enemy Number 1″ El Chapo Guzman.

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Mexico: Junk Food Tax Is Approved

November 1, 2013

Obese manThe New York Times, 11/1/2013

Aiming to curb unhealthy consumption habits, Mexico’s Congress on Thursday approved new taxes on sugary drinks and junk food. Lawmakers approved a tax of one peso per liter, or about 8 cents, on soft drinks and an 8 percent sales tax on high-calorie foods, including potato chips, sweets and cereal. President Enrique Peña Nieto is expected to sign the taxes into law in January.

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Mexico Cholera Outbreak Less than 250 Miles from US Border

October 29, 2013

DOT map of Us-mexico-borderThe International Business Times, 10/29/2013

The outbreak of cholera in Mexico is creeping ever closer to the US border, with five cases confirmed in an area that is less than 250 miles from the Texas border.

The Ministry of Health in Mexico has reported five cases around La Huasteca, an area covering the states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Puebla, Hidalgo, San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, and Guanajuato.

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Is basketball now a rising star in soccer-loving Mexico?

October 29, 2013

bballThe Christian Science Monitor, 10/28/2013

Soccer may be king of sports in Mexico, but the rising popularity of basketball is giving fútbol a kick in the shin. “We’re seeing a new wave of young people showing great interest in basketball,” says Jaime González Rodriguez, director of the municipal sports institute in Nogales.

Mr. González Rodriguez points toward dozens of teens dribbling and shooting hoops in a gym at a sports complex here in the border state of Sonora. At a special basketball clinic, the youngsters share the court with former Phoenix Suns players Tom Chambers, Steven Hunter, Tim Kempton, and Horacio Llamas, the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) first Mexico-born player.

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Why Are Mexico And Mike Bloomberg Battling Coca-Cola?

October 28, 2013

Michael-Bloomberg3Forbes, 10/28/2013

Mexico is going to war with Coca-Cola and other makers of sugary, high-calorie drinks. In a recent article for The New York Times Elizabeth Malkin explained, “In a bet against an epidemic of obesity and diabetes, President Enrique Peña Nieto has proposed a tax on sales of all sugary drinks. If it goes through, the tax will make Mexico a rare test case of a national soda tax directed at a severe obesity problem.” The measure is similar to a proposal made by New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg, and with good reason. The billionaire mayor is advising Mexico’s government on the topic. A few years back, when Mexico City was dealing with a crime epidemic, former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani came down to advise the city’s government on public security. Now Mexico faces a new problem: obesity. According to a recent study, Mexico currently holds the unflattering distinction of being the world’s fattest country.  Bloomberg’s foundation has agreed to help Mexico’s government tackle the problem.

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Mexico’s soda companies fear junk-food tax

October 28, 2013

Coca Cola BottlesThe Washington Post, 10/27/2013

Sweet tangerine sodas and strawberry kiddy drinks have been good for the Guzman family.

Over 60 years and three generations, their Gugar soda company has offered them hard-won prosperity in one of the poorest states in Mexico. It’s allowed the youngest to study at the University of California at Berkeley and vacation in Las Vegas, and enshrined the eldest in a bronze bust with a nameplate that reads: “Creator of entrepreneurs.”

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Mexico blocks Foster Farms chicken imports amid salmonella fears

October 25, 2013

Los Angeles Times, 10/24/2013

medicine healthcare - stethoscopeMexico has blocked imports of Foster Farms chicken from three Central California processing facilities linked to an outbreak of salmonella. The Mexican government told the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday that it was removing from its list of approved exporters two Foster Farms plants in Fresno and one in Livingston, where the poultry company is headquartered.

The blocked three plants were identified by the USDA as the likely origins of a salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 338 people across the U.S. since March.

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