If you’re the kind of person who has a stubborn little sugar devil perched on your shoulder most of the time, perhaps a visit to Mexico is in order. In January 2014, the Mexican government implemented a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), and a new report on the Mexico sugar tax says it has slashed soft drink sales by a whopping 6%. Taxing toxicity — it’s a thing.
In the study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers at the Center for Health Systems Research, National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, say their objective was to analyze the buying patterns of non-alcoholic beverages and water after the tax began. To achieve their analysis, the investigators worked with four rounds of the National Income and Expenditure Surveys: 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014; by household income, urban and rural demographics, and household composition.
It’s noteworthy that Mexico has high rates of obesity, ”more than 70% of the population is overweight or obese — and sugar consumption,” reports The Guardian.
“More than 70% of the added sugar in the diet comes from sugar-sweetened drinks Coca-Cola is particularly popular and holds a place in the national culture, while former president Vicente Fox was the regional head of the company.”
A Look at the Key Findings About the Mexico Sugar Tax
- More H20
The study’s findings that the authors revealed at the Center for Health Systems Research, National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, showed that after the government imposed the tax, there was a 16.2 percent increase in water purchases by low and middle-income households, in urban areas and among families with adults.
- Less Soft Drinks
The research also showed a reduction in purchases of sugar-sweetened beverages in lower-income households, residents living in urban areas, and families with children. That last one is significant! Less sugary drinks in homes with kids is a step in the right direction of the overall pursuit of health and wellness.
Sugar Taxes Worldwide?
The city of Berkeley also implemented a sugar tax in November of 2014, the first large sugar tax in the U.S., after which sales of soft drinks dropped by 10% in just one year.
Also, the Berkeley sugar tax raised $1.4 million for child nutrition and community health programs. And just like in Mexico, water purchases increased significantly, by 15.6 %, after the introduction of the tax.
Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) made a plea to the global community for more sugar taxing as a way to directly combat serious health concerns.
“Reduced consumption of sugary drinks means lower intake of ‘free sugars’ and calories overall, improved nutrition and fewer people suffering from overweight, obesity, diabetes and tooth decay,” the WHO reports.
The WHO also reminds us of the ongoing worldwide obesity epidemic.
“‘Consumption of free sugars, including products like sugary drinks, is a major factor in the global increase of people suffering from obesity and diabetes,’ says Dr. Douglas Bettcher, Director of WHO’s Department for the Prevention of NCDs. ‘If governments tax products like sugary drinks, they can reduce suffering and save lives.’”
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