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Rudd Radar

Mexico Proposes a Tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

September 9, 2013

Mexico has proposed a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages as part of a wide-ranging tax overhaul. The government proposed a one peso per-liter (about 8 cents or 10% of price) tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in an effort to curb the country’s high obesity rates. The government said its one-peso-per-liter tax would bring in just over $900 million a year in revenue.

Mexico's soda lobby is expected to fight back and has previously suggested that lack of exercise and fried foods are the real culprits for the country’s rising obesity rate, which is now higher than in the United States.

Many health experts believe that a sugar-sweetened beverage tax would be one of the most effective ways to discourage consumption, prevent obesity-related diseases, and offset the economic costs of obesity.

“Preventing obesity when we can, rather than paying for its consequences, makes good economic and public health sense. A sugary drink tax may help, said Roberta Friedman, Rudd Center’s Director of Public Policy.

The Rudd Center offers a revenue calculator for sugar-sweetened beverage taxes that estimates potential federal, state, and city revenues.