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Mexico: Fast Food Penalty Tax Introduced

Mexico: Fast Food Penalty Tax Introduced

In the fight against obesity, Mexican MPs impose taxes on fast food and soft drinks

According to the World Agricultural Organization (FAO), around a third of Mexicans are overweight. In order to fight the excess kilos, the Mexican parliament passed a tax on high-calorie fast food on Thursday. At the same time, healthy food should be promoted. This is intended to create an incentive for the population to eat healthier. A day earlier, MEPs had already spoken out in favor of introducing a tax on soft drinks. Coca Cola's President in Latin America, Brian Smith, responded promptly, stating that the company wanted to focus more on low-calorie or zero-calorie products in the future.

Fast food tax to promote healthy food Mexico is one of the countries with the most overweight. About a third of the population is overweight or even obese. President Enrique Pena Nieto is therefore planning various campaigns to promote the health of his compatriots. In order to establish a healthier lifestyle in the population, foods with a higher fiber content and fewer calories should be promoted. This creates an incentive for manufacturers to offer more balanced products. At the same time, attractive sports programs should encourage a healthier lifestyle.

The Mexican parliament also decided on Wednesday to introduce a tax of eight cents per liter on soft drinks. Yesterday, the MPs then agreed to an eight percent tax on foods that have more than 275 calories per 100 grams. Every Mexican drinks an average of 163 liters of soft drinks a year. Mexico is thus the world leader in soft drink consumption.

Obesity is one of the greatest challenges for the health systems of the industrialized countries. It is not only in Mexico that the number of people with overweight and obesity (obesity) is increasing. According to the FAO, 32 percent of the population in the United States are affected, 35 percent in Egypt, 43 percent in Kuwait and 71 percent on the Micronesian island of Nauru. According to a study by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), 25 percent of people in Germany should suffer from obesity - and the trend is rising. Especially women from educationally remote strata are affected in this country, the study said.

This development has dramatic health consequences for those affected but also for the health systems. According to the Techniker Krankenkasse, the number of surplus weight surgeries among those insured rose by 65 percent between 2009 and 2012. A strong weight gain increases the risk of diet-related diseases, including diabetes mellitus, fat metabolism disorders, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases. In Germany, the latter cause the most deaths among diseases. In many cases, the (life-threatening) complaints could be prevented with a healthy diet and sufficient exercise. (ag)

Image: Thommy Weiss / pixelio.de

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