January 20, 2019
Wellness Tip

Mexico's Soda Tax Is Working

by Berkeley Wellness  

Evidence is rolling in that taxing soda and other sugary beverages really does discourage people from buying them.

In a study published in the journal BMJ, researchers found that Mexico’s peso-per-liter tax on sugary soft drinks resulted in a 12 percent drop in purchases one year after it went into effect. The decline in sales averaged 6 percent over the course of 2014, increasing to a 12 percent drop by the end of the year (data for 2015 have not been published). Meanwhile purchases of bottled water rose 4 percent. Public health officials hope this change in shopping habits will put a dent in Mexico's twin epidemic of obesity and diabetes.

The tax adds about 10 percent to the cost of sugary beverages—less than the penny-per-ounce tax approved by voters in the city of Berkeley in 2014. A tax on sugary beverages is also expected to become law in Britain in 2016.

Also see Perspectives on the Berkeley Soda Tax.