Mexico's Tax on Sugary Drinks
Mexico has the highest rate of obese adults in the world. Its population also consumes more sugar and soda per capita than anywhere else. About 10 million Mexicans suffer from diabetes and other sugar-related illnesses. To battle obesity, Mexico imposed a 10% tax on sugary drinks in January 2014.
Two years later, a study found out that the sales of sugary drinks has gone down by 12 %, even by 17% with poorer people. The same study claims that bottled water purchases have risen by 4 %.
Mexicans are extremely unhealthy. Each person drinks about 163 litres of sugary drinks every year, among the world's highest rates . In addition, over 70% of adults are overweight. Especially children suffer from obesity. They start consuming carbonated drinks from a low age.
For the government the success of the soda tax is the first step towards creating a healthier society. It plans to introduce further measures to combat obesity , including healthier school meals, more information on food labels and a ban on junk food for children.
Critics of the tax on sugary drinks remain sceptical. They do not think that drinking less soda results in an overall decrease of calories because some people may actually eat more because of this. Others state that Mexicans have become more health conscious and have attained better eating habits.
Health experts around the world are watching Mexico closely. If the tax works in the long-term other countries will follow the country's example and try to reduce their population's sugar intake. In the United States, a similar soda tax has been put into effect in Berkeley, California.
Raising taxes on harmful consumer goods, including alcohol and cigarettes, is an efficient way to combat health problems in many countries.
Young woman drinks 1.9 litres of soda - Image: Russell Bernice
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- attain = succeed in getting something
- ban = to forbid something
- battle = fight
- bottled water = water that has been made clean and is sold in bottles
- carbonated drinks = non-alcoholic drinks that have bubbles because of the carbon dioxide in them
- claim = to say that something is true
- combat = fight
- consume = eat and drink
- decrease = to go down
- diabetes = disease in which the body cannot control the amount of sugar in your blood
- efficient = something that works well
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- food label = information that is printed on food packages and that tells you what is in it
- further = more
- government = the people who rule a country
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- health conscious = when you care about your health
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- long-term = continuing for along time in the future
- measure = action that deals with a problem
- obese = being overweight, so that it is dangerous to your health
- overall = in general
- overweight = to be too fat
- per capita = amount for each person of a country
- purchase = buy
- put into effect = make a law
- raise = to cause something to become higher
- reduce = lower
- remain = stay
- results in = leads to
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- sceptical = not sure if something is true or not
- similar = almost the same
- society = people who live together in a country
- soda = any type of sweet drink with bubbles that does not have alcohol in it
- state = to say that something is true
- study = when you examine something in order to find out new facts
- success = here: when something works the way it should
- suffer from = here: to be in a bad or unhealthy situation
- sugar- related = caused by too much sugar
- rate = number of people compared with all the people in a country
- tax = money that you pay to the government when you buy certain things; it is used for other services like health, education etc...