Think Sugary Drinks are OK? Think Again

In Mexico, concern about obesity and diabetes spur attacks on soft drinks. An article in the Wall Street Journal highlighted the battle between big business and countries who had previously allowed them to do business almost unhindered.

Coca-Cola holds more than 70% of the soft drinks market in Mexico and had become very influential. But their dominance has come at a price for the Mexican population:

Seven out of 10 Mexican adults over the age of 20 are either overweight or obese, according to the country’s latest national health survey. An estimated 10 million Mexicans have diabetes, or roughly 9% of the population, the highest proportion in any country with more than 100 million inhabitants.

Two articles analysed the growing health and political problem: one in the Wall Street Journal and the other in the Guardian. The problem is deep rooted across Mexican society. The average Mexican drinks the equivalent of 163 litres of Coca-Cola a year, or nearly half a litre a day.

It is true to say that Mexicans drink more fizzy drinks than anyone else in the world. It also has by far the world’s highest death rate from chronic diseases caused by sugary drinks – nearly three times more than that of the runner-up, South Africa.

In other words, excessive consumption of soda kills twice as many Mexicans as trade in the other kind of coke that Mexico is famous for.

-The Guardian

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