11/4/16 Los Angeles Times
A new estimate of the health impact of soda taxes in Mexico sheds some light on what’s at stake in ballot measures coming to a vote in three Bay-area cities and Boulder, Colo. next week. In cases of heart disease and diabetes averted, the model suggests that, in Mexico, those levies are on track to save close to a billion dollars and powerfully improve lives.
After a tandem run-up in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and obesity, Mexico has become one of the fattest countries on Earth. In 2014, it adopted a 10% excise tax on the sale of sugary drinks.
The beverage producers claimed that soda taxes would do little to reduce consumption. But market surveys show that Mexicans reduced their purchases of sugar-sweetened beverages by an average of 6% in 2014 per household. And by December 2014, that drop in purchases was at 12%.