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.