As Obesity Grows, Mexico Eyes Richmond-Style Soda Tax

Oct. 7, 2013 / By

News Report • Edgardo Cervano-Soto

MEXICO CITY – A proposed citywide “soda tax” failed to win enough votes in Richmond, Calif. in 2012, but that hasn’t stopped other U.S. cities, and even foreign nations, from taking notice of the concept. Last month, elected officials in Mexico announced their intent to become the first nation in the Americas to impose a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages – and they are looking to Richmond for help.

Former Richmond councilmember and architect of Richmond’s soda tax, Dr. Jeff Ritterman, traveled to Mexico City in late September to discuss the health impacts of soda overconsumption and share lessons learned from the campaign. His visit was hosted by El Poder del Consumidor (Consumer Power), a watchdog group in Mexico.

That a soda tax could actually happen in Mexico is both logical and astonishing, for the simple fact that no other country consumes more soda per capita than Mexico where Coca-Cola is king and where, more recently, obesity has become a national epidemic.

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