Target: President Enrique Pena Nieto
Goal: Show support for the proposed tax on sugary beverages as a way of fighting the skyrocketing diabetes rate in Mexico.
This week, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has proposed a new tax that if passed by the legislature, will be applied to sugary drinks, including soft drinks and sports beverages. The President is asking Congress that the tax be added to all products considered, “flavored beverages, concentrates, powders, syrups, essences or flavor extracts.” The proposed tax is only an extra peso per liter, which is the equivalent to 7.6 cents in American money. However, this raises the price of each bottle by about 10% overall.
President Pena’s hope is that this tax will help deter Mexicans from drinking too many sugary drinks, because of how truly unhealthy they are. Nutritionally speaking, sugary drinks do not benefit the human body. Consuming high amounts of soft drinks have been linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, higher levels of obesity, gout and dental problems. His hope is that if the prices are a little bit higher, maybe his citizens will be more inclined to purchase another type of healthier beverage.
Mexico in particular has an extremely high rate of diabetes. When looking at only the countries with a population of 100 million or more, Mexico has the highest rate of diabetes according to a United Nations study done earlier this summer. Diabetes causes about 70,000 deaths in Mexico alone each year. That being said, this law that would encourage lower sugar consumption to help Mexico lower its diabetes rate, should be supported.
Not only does Mexico have the highest rate of diabetes, they also have the highest rate of per capita consumption of Coca-Cola beverages. It is estimated that Mexicans consumed an average of 728 8-ounce drinks for the year 2011. The U.S. has always been considered to be one of the more unhealthy nations in the world, but yet the American estimate is 403 beverages per year. This is more than 300 less than a Mexican citizen.
American citizens have never been much of a fan of so-called “sin taxes,” where the government attempts to tax something that is seen as a negative behavior, in order to encourage cessation. Proposed soda taxes have come up against huge fights, but have passed in certain states. However in Europe, countries such as France, Finland, Algeria and Hungary have all imposed taxes on sugary beverages.
Please sign this petition to show your support of Mexico’s progressive tax plan to help curb obesity and diabetes.
Dear President Enrique Pena Nieto & The Mexican Congress,
I would like to commend you on your hard work and your efforts to fight the public health issue in your country of diabetes. Your proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages is an excellent way to cut down on consumption of these types of drinks. Studies show that when products are taxed higher, consumers begin to slow down their consumption of said products. With lower levels of consumption of soft drinks year after year, levels of dangerous diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity should decline.
France, Finland, Algeria and Hungary have all been successful in imposing a tax on sugary beverages, and have shown a great example as to how to get there. While companies such as Coca-Cola will clearly be angered by this tax on their products, the tax is for the greater good of the health of the people of your nation, and it is refreshing to see you put that first. I commend you for taking the lead with these European countries in imposing this tax.
[Your Name Here]
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