Mexico: New ‘junk food’ taxes aim to tackle obesity crisis

Mexico: New ‘junk food’ taxes aim to tackle obesity crisis

The Mexican parliament has passed a new law imposing taxes on foods high in sugar, salt and saturated fat, the Guardian reports.

The new taxes will increase the price of ‘junk foods’ by 8% and will also add one peso (approx 6 cents) to each litre of high-sugar drinks, with the money raised helping to fund health programmes and improve access to drinking water in schools.  Meanwhile an accreditation for ‘healthy’ foods on sale in supermarkets will also be introduced.

The adult obesity rate in Mexico stands at 32.8% according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation, a figure which is higher even than the USA where 31.8% of adults are obese. Additionally, some 9.2% of children in Mexico now have diabetes. As the legislation was passed, President Enrique Pena Nieto called for a “culture of change”, recommending that every person in the country should also include one hour of exercise in their daily routine.

A number of countries around the world have already introduced levies on soft drinks and other ‘junk foods’, according to the Guardian, but often against a backdrop of political pressure. In July, an appeal court in the US overturned a ban on ‘supersize’ drinks that was scheduled to be implemented in New York City.

Source: The Guardian