Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Opinion: Does a Soda Tax Reduce Obesity? Ask Mexico (Bloomberg Philanthropies)
Mexico has become the most obese country in the world. In a purported effort to combat the problem, the country implemented a one-peso-per-liter excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in January 2014.
That tax, supporters claim, is working.
A 2015 working paper by University of Chicago Prof. Jeffrey Grogger found that Mexico's soda taxes raised sugar-sweetened beverage prices by approximately 10 percent.
More recently, a study published last month in the British Medical Journal found between a 6- and 12-percent reduction in purchases of sugary drinks after the law's passage.
That study was funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies—which also provided $10 million to push Mexico to adopt the soda tax in the first place—and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which supports soda taxes.