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 10:27 AM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
Hamas' tactics have changed -- now the group is using commando-like tactics, says CNN's Ben Wedeman.
updated 4:53 PM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
CNN's Richard Quest speaks to Malaysia Airlines' Hugh Dunleavy about how the airline industry needs to react to MH17.
updated 3:42 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
From Maastricht to Melbourne, and baroque theaters to block-long warehouses, these stores make bookish travelers look stylish.
updated 11:40 AM EDT, Sun July 20, 2014
Some contend that larger weapons have come into Ukraine from Russia.
updated 9:44 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
A California homeowner's nightmare has become a cautionary tale for those who rent their homes to strangers.
updated 2:57 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
A nun, an AIDS researcher, an athlete and a family traveling on summer vacation. These were some of the victims aboard MH17.
updated 8:21 PM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Prince George isn't your average one year old. He started walking before he was one. Oh, and, he's going to be king -- of 16 countries.
updated 7:36 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Former President Bill Clinton acknowledges he got "very close" to helping achieve peace in the Middle East.
updated 2:21 AM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
In an ambitious plan to upgrade urban India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will build 100 "smart cities" across the country.
updated 7:27 AM EDT, Sun July 20, 2014
Inspirational, creepy or just weird? CNN meets the 51-year-old man who dresses like a schoolgirl.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT