Addressing Obesity in Mexico
According to statistics from the World Health Organization, Mexico is the world’s most overweight nation. Almost 70 percent of Mexicans are overweight, and more than a third are obese. The country overtook the United States earlier this year as the country with the highest proportion of obesity. And like Americans, Mexicans are large consumers of sugary drinks, consuming approximately 40 gallons each per year.
In an effort to combat a perceived growing health problem, the Mexican government is considering a new tax on sugary drinks. The initiative is intended to complement an education campaign being financed by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Readers may recall that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in the spotlight last spring after proposing a ban on large drinks in New York. That ban was overturned by a New York court before it could be implemented. But the program in Mexico could become the first large-scale test of a cost-based strategy to curb consumption of empty calories.