As an Attempt To Fight Obesity Mexico Restricts Soft Drink Ads

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By Sarah Thomas | July 18, 2014 12:21 PM EST

Obesity is growing among the people all over the world. A survey conducted recently found that nearly 50 percent of the obese people in the world belonged to ten countries. USA, China and India taking the top three positions respectively. While the problem haunts all the nations equally, Mexico standing six in the list has gone a step further to fight the problem.

Last year they had increased taxes on high calorie products and recently Mexico has started a campaign against obesity, as a part of which it is now restricting television advertising for high-calorie food and soft drink. The government says that such ads will be banned with immediate effect on terrestrial and cable TV between 2:30 PM and 7:30PM on weekdays and between 07:30AM and 7:30PM at weekends, which are the times when most people are likely to watch television. This ban will reduce 40 percent of the commercials for soft drinks, chocolates, confectioneries and high calorie products which contribute to weight gain.

Such ads shown during cinema will also be controlled. According to the statistics, nearly 70 percent of the adults and 30 percent of the kids are obese in the country.

In place of these ads, only commercials for products which "meet nutritional standards" will be aired, the health ministry said.

Though UK, Norway and Quebec province in Canada, have banned on advertising of  junk food in children's television, Mexico is the only country that has taken such drastic steps in restricting advertising in every channel to curb weight gain. They realized that limiting the restriction only to children's television does not serve the purpose and the ads still appear in more popular "family" programmes that have the biggest audiences.

Mexico has also made it mandatory from 2015 for all manufacturers to label sugar, fat and saturated fat content on their food and drink products. This is a measure they have taken to reduce the high incidence of diabetes, which is the highest in the nation among the 34 member states of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Health experts estimate the nation's weight problems will cost the public health care system $11.7bn (£7bn) by 2017. For this and the larger good of the citizens, the nation is keen on fighting the growing incidence of diabetes and high cholesterol in its citizens

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