Skip to main content

Mexican senate: Tax on high-calorie food could bite into obesity problem

By Elwyn Lopez, CNN
updated 8:03 AM EDT, Sat November 2, 2013
Senators also approved a tax of one peso on every liter of soft drinks.
Senators also approved a tax of one peso on every liter of soft drinks.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Legislation adds an 8% tax on food high in caloric content
  • A liter of soft drink also gets a tax
  • Mexico tops a U.N. report ranking the most obese nations
  • Mexico passed the U.S. to top the list

(CNN) -- With their country having the dubious distinction of first place in a global ranking of obese populations, legislators in Mexico have approved new taxes on high-calorie foods and soft drinks.

A measure that cleared the Mexican senate on Thursday and that now awaits the president's signature puts an 8% tax on edibles with high caloric contents. Although the legislation does not identify all foods that fit into its tax category or include a specific list, it cites "food that is high in calories such as fried foods ... sweets, foods made mainly with cereal, among others..."

Sports stars, junk food and your kids
Prepping for NYC's ban on sugary drinks
Sugary drinks linked to 180,000 deaths

Senators also approved a tax of one peso (about seven-and-a-half cents) on every liter of soft drinks.

The tax measures come after Mexico jumped ahead of the United States to claim first place in a list of most-obese nations in a U.N. food and agriculture report this year.

Meanwhile, in another component of a government effort to combat obesity, the Mexico Health Department is joinging with two pediatric organizations in a campaign to prevent childhood obesity. The campaign's goal is to help doctors understand the complications of obesity, as well as the preventative and treatment measures available, said Arturo Perea-Martinez of Mexico's National Pediatric Institute

According to the World Health Organization, the average Mexican drinks 163 liters (about 43 gallons) of soda a year, which is 40% more than the average U.S. citizen, making Mexico the largest consumer of soft drinks in the world.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:49 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
British PM David Cameron has had the narrowest of political escapes.
updated 9:06 PM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
British journalist John Cantlie hadn't been seen in nearly two years. Now, he's the latest hostage to be paraded out by ISIS.
The burial leader. The hospital gatekeeper. The disease detective. All telling powerful, stories from West Africa.
updated 7:03 PM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Alibaba's IPO is unlike anything investors have ever seen and could threaten other online retailers. Maggie Lake reports.
updated 11:58 PM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Indian PM Narendra Modi has said al Qaeda will fail if it seeks to spread its terror network into his country.
updated 8:01 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Put yourself in the shoes (and sixth-century black robes) of ISIS' Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the mysterious boss of the terror group.
updated 10:44 AM EDT, Sat September 20, 2014
 Tennis Player Li Na attends the WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party as guests enjoy Ciroc Vodka presented by Dubai Duty Free at Kensington Roof Gardens on June 19, 2014 in London,
Asia's first grand slam singles champion Li Na has called time on her 15-year tennis career.
Jenson Button has some of quickest reactions ever shown at an advanced sports lab.
updated 7:24 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Creative companies with quirky ideas find new lending models advantageous.
updated 10:09 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Even death couldn't part two skeletons excavated from a lost chapel in an English county, found with their fingers entwined.
updated 6:07 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT