Oaxaca authorities vote to ban junk food to minors due to obesity pandemic

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MEXICO- Oaxaca state house passes with 31 votes a law to ban the sale of “junk” food  and sugar drinks to minors in schools. This is due to an obesity pandemic that places Mexico as #1 in child obesity. The US National Institute of Health published a research by the World Health Organization (2016) reporting that Mexico experiences the highest prevalence globally of children who are overweight or obese.

“Upward trends in obesity in school-aged children and adolescents have been observed at a national level, as well as in all subpopulations in Mexico.” – PMC

The state of Oaxaca is the most affected in child obesity among the other states in Mexico, Children and adults can drink updo 2 litters a day of sugar drinks like Coca-cola and other large doses of junk-food products. Therefore, this week, authorities of of Oaxaca approved to modify the Law of the Rights of Girls, Boys and Adolescents to ban selling, distributing or promoting unhealthy products to minors in Oaxaca’s territory.

The new law bans the distribution, sale, gift and supply of sugary drinks and high calorie packaged foods to minors in public and private schools of basic and higher education, through vending machines or vending machines in educational institutions.

This comes after Covid 19 in Mexico has hit the hardest to those who are obese and suffer diabetes, colesterol, hard and liver problems and high blood pressure.

The Federal government of the center-democrat president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) have also launched a health campaign to get Mexicans to consume less sugar drinks and junk food products, and to bring back the more healthy organic food choices of the Mexican cousin.

The junk food industry, mostly composed of American food-like products and sugar drinks, immediately launched a campaign focusing their efforts to stop healthy eating in Mexico explaining that the health campaign promoted by the federal government hurts their profits in that country.

Despite the efforts from the junk food industry to halt the move, the majority of the citizens of Mexico support the government’s offers to combat adult and child ubiquity in the country.

Adult obesity in Mexico is #2 in the world after the United States, and it became an even larger issue during the Covid 19 pandemic where almost 80% of deaths where due to a pre-existing conditions such diabetes, colesterol, or hypertension.

The The approval of the initiative was celebrated by the United Nations Children’s Fund ( Unicef ), the Office in Mexico of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights ( UN-DH ), and several non-profit organizations, for protecting children against shark marketing tactics by the sugar industry which has convinced children that sugar drinks are healthy.

“UNICEF Mexico welcomes the proposed addition to the Oaxaca Children’s Rights Law, to prohibit the distribution, donation, and sale of sugary drinks and calorie foods to minors.” 

This is the moment of the vote “Oaxaca is the first state to legislate this measure, in favor of the health of girls, boys and adolescents.” 🙌

When the initiative was presented, corporations benefiting from the sale of ‘junk foods’, products with high caloric content, sugar, sodium (salt) and fat, labeled the bill as an attack against the economy of Oaxacan families; however, this was ruled out by lawmakers, who said that human health comes before the economic interests of industry.

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