Bad news for our friends south of the border. Mexico’s lower house of Congress is following in the steps of New York Mayor Bloomberg by recently approving new taxes on junk food in an effort to reduce their consumption. The increased costs on higher calorie and sugary snacks were part of a larger bill that included additional fiscal changes and are likely to get passed into law.
With one of the world’s highest obesity rates, Mexico is being met with support from health experts and opposition from small business owners. Mom and Pop shops rely on soft drink sales to stay open and will likely have to close their doors if their customers are deterred from indulging in their favorite treats.
According to the legislation high-calorie foods defined as “those providing 275 calories or more per 100 grams, at 5% of the ticketed price and chewing gum at 16%. Soft drinks would go up in price about 8 cents per liter.” Mexico recently bumped the United States into the #2 spot with 32.8% of adults considered obese vs. 31.8% in the US.
Approval of the tax package, including the junk food tax, would generate nearly $20 billion in revenue for Mexico’s national treasury.