News / Children's Health Fund

First-Year Evaluation of Mexico’s Soda Tax

Authors of a new study published in PLOS ONE report that soda sales were down in Mexico for the first year after an 8% tax on soda and other junk foods went into effect. 

Mexico’s calculated - and controversial - attempts to curb the country’s out-of-control obesity epidemic by taxing junk food and sugar-sweetened beverages appears to be paying off.

In a study published this week in the online journal PLOS Medicine, researchers found that the 8 percent tax imposed by Mexico’s national government on an array of “nonessential” calorie-dense foods (i.e., junk food) starting in January 2014 led to an average 5.1 percent reduction in purchases of those foods in urban areas across the country (data for rural areas wasn’t available). The study was conducted jointly by researchers from Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the same team that reported last year that Mexico’s 10 percent tax on soda and other sugary beverages appeared to be responsible for a 6 percent drop in consumption of those items.

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Published 1 Aug 2016

Children's Health Fund: Set up by Jamie Oliver and Sustain in August 2015, the aim is to get restaurants to volunteer to put a 10p levy on non-alcoholic soft drinks with added sugar. This money will be paid into the Children’s Health Fund to support programmes and schemes aimed at improving children’s health and food education.

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