The Mexican government proposed penalizing sugary beverages with a special tax in an effort to contain twin epidemics of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, attempting to join countries such as France and Hungary in taxing sweet drinks in the name of public health.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s tax overhaul targets all sugar-sweetened beverages, not just soda, in a country where seven of 10 adults are either overweight or obese. An estimated 15 percent of people over age 20 have adult-onset diabetes.
The sugar content of carbonated soda has received heaps of attention in Mexico recently. An initiative in the Senate called for a 20 percent tax on soda.
The bill proposed on Sept. 8 would apply a tax of one peso (US$0.08) for each liter of sugar-sweetened beverage. The government said the tax of one peso per liter would bring in a little more than US$900 million a year in revenue.
Mexico’s Congress is expected to approve the broader fiscal proposal, including the soft-drink tax by mid-November, without substantial changes.