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.)
González-Morales R, Canto-Osorio F, Stern D, Sánchez-Romero LM, Torres-Ibarra L, Hernández-López R, Rivera-Paredez B, Vidaña-Pérez D, Ramírez-Palacios P, Salmerón J, Popkin BM. Soft drink intake is associated with weight gain, regardless of physical activity levels: The health workers cohort study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2020 Dec;17:1-0. view full text
Pedraza LS, Popkin BM, Adair L, Robinson WR, Taillie LS. Mexican households’ food shopping patterns in 2015: Analysis following nonessential food and sugary beverage taxes. Public Health Nutrition. 2020 Aug 5:1-13. view full text
Sánchez-Romero LM, Canto-Osorio F, González-Morales R, Colchero MA, Ng SW, Ramírez-Palacios P, Salmerón J, Barrientos-Gutiérrez T. Association between tax on sugar sweetened beverages and soft drink consumption in adults in Mexico: Open cohort longitudinal analysis of Health Workers Cohort Study. BMJ. 2020 May 6;369:m1311. doi: 10.1136/bmj.m1311. view full text
Torres-Álvarez R, Barrán-Zubaran R, Canto-Osorio F, Sánchez-Romero LM, Camacho-García-Formentí D, Popkin BM, Rivera JA, Meza R, Barrientos-Gutiérrez T. Body weight impact of the sugar-sweetened beverages tax in Mexican children: A modeling study. Pediatr Obes. 2020 Apr 13:e12636. doi: 10.1111/ijpo.12636. view full text
Pedraza LS, Popkin BM, Batis C, Adair L, Robinson WR, Guilkey DK, Taillie LS. The caloric and sugar content of beverages purchased at different store-types changed after the sugary drinks taxation in Mexico. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2019 Nov 12;16(1):103. doi: 10.1186/s12966-019-0872-8. view full text
López-Olmedo N, Popkin BM, Mendez MA, Taillie LS. The association of overall diet quality with BMI and waist circumference by education level in Mexican men and women. Public Health Nutr. PLOS ONE. 2019 Oct 23;14(10):e0224385. view full text
López-Olmedo N, Popkin BM, Taillie LS. Association between socioeconomic status and diet quality in Mexican men and women: A cross-sectional study. PLOS One. 2019 Oct 23;14(10):e0224385. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224385. view full text
López-Olmedo N, Popkin BM, Gordon-Larsen P, Taillie LS. Cross-sectional association between diet quality and cardiometabolic risk by education level in Mexican adults. Public Health Nutr. 2020 Feb;23(2):264-274. doi: 10.1017/S1368980019001678. Epub 2019 Jul 8. PMID: 31282318; PMCID: PMC6946903. view full text
Ng SW, Rivera JA, Popkin BM, Colchero MA. Did high sugar-sweetened beverage purchasers respond differently to the excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in Mexico? Public Health Nutr. 2019 Mar;22(4):750-6. view full text
Aburto TC, Poti JM, Popkin BM. Patterns and trends in the intake distribution of manufactured and homemade sugar-sweetened beverages in pre-tax Mexico, 1999-2012. Public Health Nutr. 2018 Dec;21(18):3296-3306. view full text
López-Olmedo N, Popkin BM, Taillie LS. The Socioeconomic Disparities in Intakes and Purchases of Less-Healthy Foods and Beverages Have Changed over Time in Urban Mexico. J Nutr. 2018 Jan 1;148(1):109-116. view full text