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Tax on Sugary Drinks Lead to its Decline by 12% in Mexico

Update Date: Jan 08, 2016 09:28 AM EST

Mexico adopted a tax policy on sugary drinks that has reduced the consumption of beverages by 12%, said new study. The tax was imposed starting January 1st, 2014 caused a decline in the sale of taxed beverages and increase in the untaxed ones, a year later. The decline grew from 6% to 12% when the consumption of these beverages were compared to the what it would have been like if there was no tax, said Shu Wen Ng, PhD, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health in Chapel Hill, reported BMJ. The maximum decline was witnessed in the lowest socioeconomic group with a 9% decrease in more than a year. The non-taxed beverages consumption increased by 4% but the number was not very high and was mostly influenced by the purchase of bottled water, added the authors.

"These results show that excise taxes on SSB's are a promising way to lower purchased (and thus consumption) of unhealthy beverages, and people may be substituting with healthier beverages such as water," wrote Ng in an email to MedPage Today. "Many other countries are becoming convinced from the growing evidence of this policy strategy in the past few years and have also instituted SSB taxes (e.g., Chile, Barbados, France) lately; others are discussing it as an option." The proposed tax earlier was 20% of the cost or 2 pesos per liter rather than 10% that is currently in effect, which would have obviously meant a much greater decrease in its consumption, said Ng.

"With time there will be more empirical evidence on this issue," Ng wrote. "We will need to see what the longer-term responses by both consumers and industry will be." For the purpose of the study, the data was obtained from the period of January 2012 to December 2014 from Nielson Mexico's Consumer Panel Services, reported MedicalXpress.com

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