Wake Up Call

Mexico May Pass a National Junk Food Tax

We Americans may have an international reputation for being fat and loud, but it turns out our neighbors to the south may have even, uh, bigger issues than we do. Mexico recently surpassed the United States in obesity rates, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization with 32.8 percent of Mexican adults being obese.

To combat the rising levels of overweight people the country is now moving toward passing a junk food tax similar to that made famous by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

See also: Judge Strikes Down NYC Soda Ban

Last week, Mexico's lower house approved a new fiscal package that would, among other things, tax high-calorie foods and sugary drinks. The taxes are part of an effort to generate billions of dollars for the country's treasury. It's expected that the legislation will be taken up by the Senate this week.

Specifically the tax applies to food "providing 275 calories or more per 100 grams, at 5 percent of the ticketed price and chewing gum at 16 percent." Soft drinks will also go up in price by about 8 cents per liter, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

Other new taxes in the bundle include a 16 percent tax on pet food and a 16 percent value-added tax on purchases in border states.

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