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We have been working with our research partners in Mexico on obesity prevention initiatives for almost two decades. Mexico has a very high overweight and obesity prevalence that continues to grow rapidly, particularly among children and adolescents. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes in Mexico is also one of the highest in the world. Our major activities with Mexico thus far have been work on a beverage guidance panel, evaluations of the country’s sugary drink and nonessential foods taxes, and most recently, preparing for a collaborative evaluation of their newly passed front-of-package warning label law.

Implemented Policies

Excise Tax Law for Production and Services (Ley del Impuesto Especial sobre Producción y Servicios) | Implemented January 1, 2014

Tax on sugary drinks

1 peso per liter excise tax on any non-alcoholic beverage with added sugar, including concentrates (powders or syrups, taxed based on reconstituted volume)

Exempt: milk beverages, 100% juices

Tax on junk foods

8% sales tax on non-essential foods containing >275 calories/100 grams in these categories:

  • Snacks
  • Confectionery products.
  • Chocolate and other cocoa products.
  • Custards and puddings
  • Fruit and vegetable sweets
  • Peanut and hazelnut creams
  • Dulces de leche
  • Prepared cereal foods
  • Ice cream, snow and ice popsicles
Read law in: Spanish (See: ARTÍCULO TERCERO Artículo 2º → G & J)
Read tax law resolution (definition of basic foods exempt of tax) in: Spanish (See I.5.1.3.)

Labeling specifications for prepackaged foods and non-alcoholic beverages – Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-051 | Amended April 2020

Front-of-package warning label

This law mandates an “information system located on the main display panel, which shows in a truthful, direct, clear, simple and visible way, when a prepackaged product presents an excess content of energy, critical nutrients and ingredients that represent a risk to health in excessive consumption, and which includes labels and warning captions.”

Read law in: English

Research Partners

National Institute of Public Health (INSP),
Center for Nutrition and Health Research Center (CINyS)
Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (INSP),
Centro de Investigación en Nutrición y Salud (CINyS)

Evaluations

The SSB tax and nonessential food tax evaluations focused on a number of studies that looked the impact of the taxes on prices, food and beverage purchases, impacts on diet and employment.

The front-of-package warning label evaluation will combine food purchase impact with studies on the impact on children and their diets, knowledge and attitudes, food and beverage reformulations, and food purchase patterns.

Publications

Hernández-F, M., C. Batis, J. A. Rivera and M. A. Colchero (2019). “Reduction in purchases of energy-dense nutrient-poor foods in Mexico associated with the introduction of a tax in 2014.” Preventive Medicine 118: 16-22.

Ng, S. W., J. A. Rivera, B. M. Popkin and M. A. Colchero (2018). “Did high sugar-sweetened beverage purchasers respond differently to the excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in Mexico?” Public Health Nutrition 22(4): 750-756.

Basto-Abreu, A., A. Braverman-Bronstein, D. Camacho-García-Formentí, R. Zepeda-Tello, B. M. Popkin, J. Rivera-Dommarco, M. Hernández-Ávila and T. Barrientos-Gutiérrez (2018). “Expected changes in obesity after reformulation to reduce added sugars in beverages: A modeling study.” PLOS Medicine 15(10): e1002664.

Barrientos-Gutierrez, T., R. Zepeda-Tello, E. R. Rodrigues, A. Colchero-Aragonés, R. Rojas-Martínez, E. Lazcano-Ponce, M. Hernández-Ávila, J. Rivera-Dommarco and R. Meza (2017). “Expected population weight and diabetes impact of the 1-peso-per-litre tax to sugar sweetened beverages in Mexico.” PLOS ONE 12(5): e0176336.

Taillie, L. S., J. A. Rivera, B. M. Popkin and C. Batis (2017). “Do high vs. low purchasers respond differently to a nonessential energy-dense food tax? Two-year evaluation of Mexico’s 8% nonessential food tax.” Preventive Medicine 105(Supplement): S37-S42.

Colchero, M. A., S. W. Ng and B. M. Popkin (2017). “Sugar-sweetened beverage tax: the authors reply.” Health Aff (Millwood) 36(6): 1145.

Colchero, M. A., J. A. Zavala, C. Batis, T. Shamah-Levy and J. A. Rivera-Dommarco (2017). “Changes in prices of taxed sugar-sweetened beverages and nonessential energy dense food in rural and semi-rural areas in Mexico.” Salud Pública de México 59(2): 137-146.

Guerrero-López, C. M., M. Molina and M. A. Colchero (2017). “Employment changes associated with the introduction of taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages and nonessential energy-dense food in Mexico.” Preventive medicine 105: S43-S49.

Colchero, M. A., J. Rivera-Dommarco, B. M. Popkin and S. W. Ng (2017). “In Mexico, evidence of sustained consumer response two years after implementing a sugar-sweetened beverage tax.” Health Affairs 36(3): 564-571.

Batis, C., J. A. Rivera, B. M. Popkin and L. S. Taillie (2016). “First-year evaluation of Mexico’s tax on nonessential energy-dense foods: an observational study.” PLOS Medicine 13(7): e1002057.

Colchero, M., C. M. Guerrero-López, M. Molina and J. A. Rivera (2016). “Beverages Sales in Mexico before and after Implementation of a Sugar Sweetened Beverage Tax.” PloS one 11(9): e0163463.

Colchero, M. A., B. M. Popkin, J. A. Rivera and S. W. Ng (2016). “Beverage purchases from stores in Mexico under the excise tax on sugar sweetened beverages: observational study.” BMJ 352: h6704.

Colchero, M. A., J. C. Salgado, M. Unar-Munguía, M. Hernández-Ávila and J. A. Rivera-Dommarco (2015). “Price elasticity of the demand for sugar sweetened beverages and soft drinks in Mexico.” Economics & Human Biology 19: 129-137.

Colchero, M. A., J. C. Salgado, M. Unar-Munguía, M. Molina, S. Ng and J. A. Rivera-Dommarco (2015). “Changes in prices after an excise tax to sweetened sugar beverages was implemented in Mexico: evidence from urban areas.” PLoS ONE 10(12): e0144408.

Rivera, J. A., O. Munoz-Hernandez, M. Rosas-Peralta, C. A. Aguilar-Salinas, B. M. Popkin and W. C. Willett (2008). “Drink consumption for a healthy life: recommendations for the general population in Mexico.” Gaceta medica de Mexico 144(5): 369-388.

Rivera, J. A., O. Muñoz-Hernández, M. Rosas-Peralta, C. A. Aguilar-Salinas, B. M. Popkin and W. C. Willett (2008). “Consumo de bebidas para una vida saludable: recomendaciones para la población (Beverage consumption for a healthy life: recommendations for the Mexican population).” Salud Publica Mexico 50(2): 173-195.