In 2014, the Mexican government imposed the Special Tax on Production and Services (IEPS) on sugary drinks. This tax records soft drinks and sugary drinks with a $1 peso per liter, which is equivalent to approximately 10% of the sale price of the product. The consumption of soft drinks is a great problem in today’s society, and in Mexico it was becoming a national problem. For this reason, the government took an exceptional measure to stop the constant increase in their consumption, especially among the youngest.
Continued consumption of soft drinks can eventually lead to addiction due to the amount of sugar, caffeine or other legal but addictive chemicals that soft drinks contain. The negative effect of sugary drinks is real and scientifically proven.
Although society in general did not believe that this government measure would curb the consumption of soft drinks, the reality is that in 2014 there has been a decrease of no less than 12% in soft drinks and sugary drinks in general. Curiously, the sale of beverages without this tax increased by 4%, such as bottled natural water, which also has its great problems.
The reduction occurred in a generalized way in all socioeconomic groups, but more accentuated in the stratum with fewer economic resources, where the decrease reached 17%. Logically, the poorest families are more affected by this type of tax. But in this case there is no harm that does not come. Although the levels of obesity and diabetes are almost the same in all socioeconomic levels, the economic impact is greater in those who have the lowest income.
Our opinion in this regard is clear, if the Special Tax on Production and Services has managed to reduce the consumption of soft drinks and sugary drinks in Mexico, it would be necessary to maintain, strengthen and increase it. And not only in Mexico, the rest of the governments should take note and start taking similar measures to try to combat this problem.
Data: Population Center of the University of North Carolina – National Institute of Public Health (INSP).