From Our Team
Posted on January 30, 2014 by Jon Law
An update for those who may not know — Mexico has a new soda tax, referred to in Mexico as the “Impuesto a las bebidas azucaradas” (tax on sugared drinks).
In 2013, the Peña Nieto administration approved a number of fiscal reforms, which include a tax of 1 peso (approximately 8 cents) per liter of soda. In addition, there is a 5% excise tax on high calorie packaged foods, like potato chips and sweetened breakfast cereals.
This tax is a little different from New York City’s soda law passed in 2012. The NYC Board of Health, with strong encouragement from Mayor Bloomberg, banned many sodas more than 16 ounces. The ban applied to restaurants, movie theaters, sports stadiums, and food carts. Interestingly, the ban did not include grocery stores or convenience stores. The NYC law was overturned by the New York Supreme Court and has yet to be implemented.
My own perspective on soda taxes is still evolving. In the U.S. and Mexico, we need to decrease our consumption of soda and other simple/empty carbohydrates. However, the evidence is not clear if taxes or bans are effective ways to change consumption. My concern is that these types of laws may shift consumption to other products that are equally or even more detrimental to the population’s health. Many eyes will be watching the Mexican experiment to see how its tax works.
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Thoughts expressed are my own. In no respect, do these posts reflect an official position of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation or its board of directors.
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