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Mexico business lobby blasts state's ban on junk food for children

Some 75.2% of the population aged 20 or older is either overweight or obese, government data shows, up from 71.3% six years earlier. Health experts have reputedly warned that the novel coronavirus is particularly dangerous for people who have underlying health conditions, often linked to excess weight, which is the case for millions of Mexicans.

Reuters | Mexico City | Updated: 07-08-2020 03:46 IST | Created: 07-08-2020 03:46 IST
Mexico business lobby blasts state's ban on junk food for children

Mexican businesses on Thursday lashed out at the congress of one southern state after it voted to ban the sale, distribution and advertising of junk food and sugary drinks to children in an attempt to improve health. Led by the ruling National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), Oaxaca's congress became the first in the country to approve such a measure a day earlier.

"Rating foods as good or bad, or resorting to bans, is not the solution," the influential Business Coordinating Council (CCE) said in a statement. "This measure, in addition to not generating real actions to attack the root problem, damages the value chains in the midst of a pandemic crisis, particularly small businesses."

Mexico's economy was already in a mild recession before many businesses were forced to shut to help curb the spread of the pandemic. The lobby did not propose alternative measures but called for a dialogue with state and federal authorities to find "integrated solutions, based on evidence, and that do not affect the regional economy".

Mexico is now the largest consumer of ultra-processed food in Latin America and the fourth-largest in the world. Some 75.2% of the population aged 20 or older is either overweight or obese, government data shows, up from 71.3% six years earlier.

Health experts have reputedly warned that the novel coronavirus is particularly dangerous for people who have underlying health conditions, often linked to excess weight, which is the case for millions of Mexicans. Mexico, which reported its first coronavirus case in February, is on track to surpass 50,000 deaths, the highest after the United States and Brazil.


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