January 16, 2014
The 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.
October 10, 2013
By the middle of October, if everything stays on schedule, Mexico’s legislators may well prove that they haven’t learned a thing from policies that have been tried and failed, from Denmark to New York City.
Mexico’s government is deciding whether to levy a 1-peso-per-liter tax on manufactured sugary drinks, purportedly to address Mexico’s obesity epidemic. The tax would raise just over $900 million in annual revenue. But experience shows: the extra revenue won’t go to reduce the obesity rate in Mexico — or anywhere else. And, even if it did, experience also shows that the extra revenues collected won’t have the intended effects on consumer behavior – which is where the waist-line battle is won or lost.
April 26, 2013
Al Jazeera, 4/26/13
Mexicans have always loved to eat and drink, but rapidly changing dietary habits have created a nation in danger of eating themselves to death. Mexican schoolchildren are now some of the fattest in the world, with one in three classified as overweight or obese – a 27 percent rise in 12 years, according to the latest National Survey of Health and Nutrition. Their parents also score high on global ranking tables – weighing in second behind only the United States.
Among adults, a staggering 73 percent of women are overweight or obese; men are only marginally thinner, with 69 percent “abnormally” sized. The National Survey reveals what is obvious to even an untrained eye: people of a “normal” or healthy weight are becoming a rare breed in this food-obsessed country. Mexico’s biggest killers are now cardiovascular diseases – including heart failure, myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) and strokes – and diabetes. Together these accounted for 150,000 deaths in 2012, according to World Health Organisation figures.