Mexico has high levels of diabetes, overweight and obesity, and curbing sugar consumption has been an important target for health advocates, the study authors noted.
While taxes on sugary drinks and other unhealthy products might help in the fight against obesity, they are not a “magic bullet,” said Franco Sassi, senior health economist at the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development.
Such taxes need to be used in conjunction with other policies, such as government regulation, public education about nutrition, and incentives for research and development in food production, Sassi wrote in an accompanying journal editorial.
In a statement released Thursday, the American Heart Association said: “Scientific research shows that overconsumption of added sugars contribute to heart disease and other chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Mexico has paved the way for other nations to decrease sugary drink intake and has shown sugar-sweetened beverage taxes are an effective strategy to make healthy choices easier.
“Reducing consumption as part of a heart-healthy lifestyle will help improve rates of obesity, diabetes, dental caries, and heart disease,” the statement said.
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