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Tax cuts down consumption of sugary drinks by 12% in Mexico

Tax cuts down consumption of sugary drinks by 12% in Mexico

A change in food habits among people of Mexico has been seen with tax levied on sugary beverages. The tax led to a 12 per cent drop in sales of sugary beverages, on the other hand, non-sugary beverages saw an increase in their sales by 4 per cent.

Shu Wen Ng, PhD, at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health in Chapel Hill, and colleagues, wrote that the tax, adopted was associated with a 6 per cent average decline in purchases of sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) after 1 year. But the decline appeared to grow over the year, ending at a 12% decrease in December when compared with what consumption would've likely been without the tax.

The tax was imposed by Mexico in order to bring diabetes and obesity related risks under control. The tax has not been imposed on sugar but only on sugary soda drinks, specifically. The 10 per cent added tax has remarkably reduced sugary drinks sales and drinks that evaded the tax saw a four per cent rise in consumption.

It should be noted that two out of three adults and one out of three children in the United States are overweight or obese, and the nation spends an estimated $190 billion a year treating obesity-related health conditions. Rising consumption of sugary drinks has been a major contributor to the obesity epidemic.

The tax was implemented from January 1, 2014, and a one peso per liter tax was subsequently added for each beverage containing sugar.

Mexico took note of how sugary drinks were adding to its diabetes and obesity epidemic as the country has one of the highest levels of obesity and diabetes in the world. This led to the government deciding on cutting sugar consumption that could bring obesity and diabetes under control.

Data from 6,200 households was analyzed from about 53 cities among 50,000 people. A comparison was made between purchases of sugary and non-sugary drinks.

The statistical model included influential factors such as sex, age and socioeconomic status, plus other factors like employment or salaries. Sales of sugary drinks reached a 12 per cent reduction by the end of 2014. Non-sugary beverages started replacing sugary drink and saw a 4 per cent rise.

An overall decline was seen among people consuming sugary drinks but the maximum reduction of sugary beverages was seen among people with a low socioeconomic status, reaching a 17 per cent decrease by the end of 2014.

Experts have stated that no definitive conclusions can be drawn from this observational study but the results still suggest that the change in taxes has led to a lower consumption of sugary beverages.

Due to sugary drinks being unhealthy and having added taxes, people from lower income group will find it difficult to buy these drinks helping the government to cut down the consumption of these drinks.

However, adding taxes on sugary drinks is not enough and the government needs to implement health education, regulatory measures and find ways to change people s choice of diet.

Tax cuts down consumption of sugary drinks by 12% in Mexico