Mexico City is in the final stages of approving its junk food tax law, which is part of its plan to fight rising obesity levels in North America.
Customers shop for groceries in a supermarket in London October 18, 2011.
The city is turning to its tax system to impose levies on sugary sodas and fatty foods reportedly resulting to more deaths than drug-related violence.
On Oct. 17, Mexico's Lower House of Congress submitted the fiscal plan of President Enrique Pena Nieto's after the inclusion of a 5 percent tax on junk foods. The new tax plan will be levied on top of a softdrink tax of 1 peso per liter that was already included in the government's original junk food tax proposal.
The bill is scheduled to reached the Senate Nov. 1 for a full Senate vote after the committees of the Upper House has submitted the proposal for approval.
Mexico will use the junk food tax in its struggle to address its obesity rate of 32.8 percent. This is one of the highest among major countries after Egypt. The U.S. has a 31.8 percent obesity rate, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
The country is the world's top softdrink consumer at 163 liters per capita every year, a rate of 40 percent more than the U.S., according to a report from the World Health Organization.
Diabetes is the country's leading cause of death. In 2011, 81,000 Mexicans died from this disease. The number is three times more than the number of homicides related to drug-cartel violence.
Aside from Mexico and the U.S., Australia continues to struggle with obesity. Obesity studies have found that Aussies with less income and education who are living in rural areas are most likely at risk to the effects of obesity because of cheaper and less nutritious foods.
The Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute tracked 11,000 Australians and monitored their waist circumference for 12 years. New evidence indicated that 40 percent or four out of 10 Australians are now considered fat or obese.
The results of the study surprised experts, according to Anna Peeters, president of the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society.
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