In Mexico, a Soda Tax Reduces Sweetened Drink Consumption

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Not only are Mexicans drinking less soda after a soda tax was passed through legislation earlier this year, many people feel healthier as a result. Equating their health problems to the overconsumption of sweet, full-calorie beverages, a new survey conducted by public health advocates was released Monday confirming the sale of soft drinks decreased throughout Mexico.

Mexico consumes more soda per capita than any other country, according to the Wall Street Journal. In order to curb the country's overconsumption, the Mexican government approved a tax of one Mexican peso (eight U.S. cents) per liter of soda in January. Not only have soda sales decreased, the rising costs of health care costs associated with excess weight has also declined. 

“People are beginning to perceive that drinking these beverages represents a health risk,” Alejandro Calvillo, director of El Poder del Consumidor and one of the survey’s sponsors, said.

The survey, which included 1,500 participants, confirmed that "nearly half" of them decreased their consumption of soda. Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health also conducted a survey that confirmed soda consumption decreased 10 percent during the first three months of 2014 in comparison to last year. Participants said they were more likely to purchase beverages that weren't subjected to the soda tax.

According to Coca-Cola Femsa, the top-selling soda brand in Mexico, the company's sales of soda dropped 6.4 percent throughout Mexico in the beginning of 2014 compared to the previous year. Coca-Cola not only blamed the soda tax for the fall, but also a weak economy and bad weather, according to the Wall Street Journal.

With many Mexicans admittedly drinking less soda, yes, a soda tax does work.


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