Mexican flag

We have been working alongside our research partners in Mexico on obesity prevention initiatives for almost two decades. Mexico has a high prevalence overweight and obesity prevalence that continues to grow, 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 the country’s front-of-package warning label law.

Evaluations: The sugary drink tax and nonessential food tax evaluations include studies that examined the impact of the taxes on prices, food and beverage purchases, dietary intake, and employment. The front-of-package warning label evaluations 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 foods and beverages containing added sugar, fat, or sodium 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 contains an "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: “Contains sweeteners — not recommended for children” or ‘Contains caffeine — avoid giving to children.

Read law in English

Mexico FOP Warning Labels

Ley del Impuesto Especial sobre Producción y Servicios | Implemented January 1, 2014

Excise Tax Law for Production and Services

  • 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
  • Non-essential foods: 8% sales tax on 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: English or Spanish; read tax law resolution (definition of basic foods exempt of tax) in Spanish (See I.5.1.3.)

Reform to the General Education Law for healthy school food environments | Passed November 8, 2023

On November 8, 2023, the Mexican Senate unanimously approved a reform to Mexico's General Education Law that mandates healthy school food environments for all levels of education. This reform:

  • Bans in-school sale and marketing of pre-packaged foods and beverages with excess critical nutrients (products that are required to carry FOP warning labels and legends)
  • Bans making mention of foods with poor nutritional quality or that put children’s health at risk
  • Fosters commercialization and consumption of unprocessed and regionally-produced foods
  • Establishes administrative responsibility for implementation, surveillance, and sanctions for noncompliance 
  • Safeguards national school food guidelines with a rights-based approach and criteria on sustainability and conflict of interest
  • Establishes periodic evaluation and update every five years.

Following publication in the Official Gazette, the Secretariat of Education will have 180 days to adopt or improve necessary corresponding secondary regulations. State and local agencies will have two years to achieve compliance.

In-Country Team Leads


  • Caloric reductions needed to achieve obesity goals in Mexico for 2030 and 2040: A modeling study
    Authors: Francisco Reyes-Sánchez, Ana Basto-AbreuI, Rossana Torres-Álvarez, Martha Carnalla-Cortés, Alan Reyes-García, Boyd Swinburn, Rafael MezaI, Juan A. Rivera, Barry Popkin
    Published in: PLOS Medicine, June 26, 2023 view full text

  • Changes in sugar-sweetened beverage purchases across the price distribution after the implementation of a tax in Mexico: a before-and-after analysis
    Authors: Juan Carlos Salgado Hernández, Shu Wen Ng, M. Arantxa Colchero
    Published in: BMC Public Health, February 7, 2023 view full text

  • Simulating international tax designs on sugar-sweetened beverages in Mexico
    Authors: Juan Carlos Salgado Hernández, Shu Wen Ng
    Published in: PLOS ONE, August 19, 2021 view full text

  • 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

  • Self-perception of dietary quality and adherence to food groups dietary recommendations among Mexican adults
    Authors: Carolina Batis, Analí Castellanos-Gutiérrez, Tania C. Aburto, Alejandra Jiménez-Aguilar, Juan A. Rivera & Ivonne Ramírez-Silva
    Published in: Nutrition Journal, June 22, 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