To combat obesity and diabetes

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The government of Mexico has launched a strategy to combat obesity and diabetes through tax reforms that will affect sodft drinks and junk food, or junk food. The measure, supported by WHO, increases the price of soft drinks, and imposes an 8 percent tax on junk food. The project presented by President Enrique Peña Nieto is a response to what the UN has called a Mexican “national emergency.”

According to The Food Fact, Mexico is the top country in the world in terms of annual per capita consumption of sugary soft drinks (180 liters) and ranks 2nd after the U.S. in the number of obese adults, with the phenomenon growing even among children.

The government’s goal is to disincentivize consumers from buying junk food in order to invest the proceeds in infrastructure, initiatives for rural people and access to clean water. It is often the scarcity of this resource that legitimizes the use of soft drinks.

Some experts point out, however, that raising prices does not in itself guarantee improved public health. Food engineering specialist Ruth Pedroza Isla, for example, insists on the need to work on prevention, with education on proper nutrition.