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.
Our 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.
Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-051-SCFI/SSA1-2010 | Implemented October 1, 2020
Front-of-package warning labels
This amendment to NOM-051 mandates that products containing added sodium, fat, or sugar that exceed thresholds set by the Ministry of Health for energy, sugar, saturated fat, trans fat, or sodium content must carry warning labels indicating that the product is in "excess” of that nutrient. The nutritional criteria will grow increasingly strict under Phase II implementation (October 2023 – October 2025). Additionally, the warning labels must be accompanied by warning messages that they are harmful to children if they contain any amount of added caffeine or non-sugar sweeteners, ie, “Contains sweeteners — not recommended for children” and ‘Contains caffeine — avoid giving to children.”
Read law in English
Ley del Impuesto Especial sobre Producción y Servicios | Implemented January 1, 2014
Excise Tax Law for Production and Services
- 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); exempts milk beverages, 100% juices
- Tax on junk foods: 8% sales tax on non-essential foods containing >275 calories/100 grams in these categories:
- 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 tax law resolution (definition of basic foods exempt of tax) in: Spanish (See I.5.1.3.)
In-Country Research Partner
In-Country Team Leads
Global maps showing mandatory and voluntary front-of-package labeling schemes used in countries around the world. Includes map highlighting countries with front-of-package warning label policies.
Updated July 2022
July 2022 addition: Canada (mandatory warning label law passed)
February 2022 additions: Argentina (mandatory warning label law passed); Singapore (hybrid mandatory/voluntary Nutri-Grade label passed); Venezuela (mandatory octagonal warning label passed); existing voluntary labels in China, Indonesia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Global map showing countries with national-level, mandatory regulations related to food and beverage marketing to children. This resource also includes a chart comparing policy coverage across countries and more detailed description of limits on TV advertising.
Updated May 2022
Global maps showing countries and smaller jurisdictions with taxes on sugary beverages that were implemented with a goal of curbing sugar consumption and improving public health. Included are brief descriptions of each tax structure and dates of passage or implementation.
Updated May 2022
May 2022: Updated Barbados tax (doubled to 20% in April 2022)
February 2022: Added Israel and Nigeria (newly implemented); Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Tuvalu, and Wallis and Futuna (existing, newly added)
Patterns of red and processed meat consumption across North America: A nationally representative cross-sectional comparison of dietary recalls from Canada, Mexico, and the United States
Authors: Sarah M. Frank, Lindsay M. Jaacks, Carolina Batis, Lana Vanderlee, Lindsey Smith Taillie
Published in: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, January 5, 2021 view full text
Soft drink intake is associated with weight gain, regardless of physical activity levels: The health workers cohort study
Authors: Romina González-Morales, Francisco Canto-Osorio, Dalia Stern, Luz María Sánchez-Romero, Leticia Torres-Ibarra, Rubí Hernández-López, Berenice Rivera-Paredez, Dèsirée Vidaña-Pérez, Paula Ramírez-Palacios, Jorge Salmerón, Barry M. Popkin, Tonatiuh Barrientos-Gutiérrez
Published in: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, December 1, 2020 view full text
Mexican households’ food shopping patterns in 2015: Analysis following nonessential food and sugary beverage taxes
Authors: Lilia S Pedraza, Barry M Popkin, Linda Adair, Whitney R Robinson, Lindsey Smith Taillie
Published in: Public Health Nutrition, August 5, 2020 view full text
Association between tax on sugar sweetened beverages and soft drink consumption in adults in Mexico: Open cohort longitudinal analysis of Health Workers Cohort Study
Authors: Luz María Sánchez-Romero, Francisco Canto-Osorio, Romina González-Morales, M Arantxa Colchero, Shu Wen Ng, Paula Ramírez-Palacios, Jorge Salmerón, Tonatiuh Barrientos-Gutiérrez
Published in: BMJ, May 6, 2020 view full text
Body weight impact of the sugar-sweetened beverages tax in Mexican children: A modeling study
Authors: Rossana Torres-Álvarez, Rodrigo Barrán-Zubaran, Francisco Canto-Osorio, Luz M. Sánchez-Romero, Dalia Camacho-García-Formentí, Barry M. Popkin, Juan A. Rivera, Rafael Meza, Tonatiuh Barrientos-Gutiérrez
Published in: Pediatr Obes, April 13 2020 view full text
Understanding heterogeneity in price changes and firm responses to a national unhealthy food tax in Mexico
Authors: Juan C. Salgado, Shu Wen Ng
Published in: Food Policy, December 1 2019 view full text
The caloric and sugar content of beverages purchased at different store-types changed after the sugary drinks taxation in Mexico
Authors: Lilia S. Pedraza, Barry M. Popkin, Carolina Batis, Linda Adair, Whitney R. Robinson, David K. Guilkey, Lindsey S. Taillie
Published in: Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act, November 12 2019 view full text
The association of overall diet quality with BMI and waist circumference by education level in Mexican men and women
Authors: Nancy López-Olmedo, Barry M. Popkin, Michelle A. Mendez, Lindsey S. Taillie
Published in: Public Health Nutr. PLOS ONE, October 23 2019 view full text
Association between socioeconomic status and diet quality in Mexican men and women: A cross-sectional study
Authors: Nancy López-Olmedo, Barry M. Popkin, Lindsey S. Taillie
Published in: PLOS One, October 23 2019 view full text
Cross-sectional association between diet quality and cardiometabolic risk by education level in Mexican adults
Authors: Nancy López-Olmedo, Barry M. Popkin, Penny Gordon-Larsen, Lindsey S. Taillie
Published in: Public Health Nutrition, February 2019 view full text
Did high sugar-sweetened beverage purchasers respond differently to the excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in Mexico?
Authors: Shu Wen Ng, Juan A. Rivera, Barry M. Popkin, Michelle A. Colchero
Published in: Public Health Nutr, March 2019 view full text