Oaxaca became the first state in Mexico to ban the sale of junk food and sugary drinks to minors on Wednesday.
There is an association with the intake and 40,000 annual deaths in Mexico.
Hugo López-Gatell, Mexico’s Undersecretary for Prevention and Health Promotion, even refers to processed foods and soft drinks as “bottled poison.”
Statistics further show that almost 2 out of 5 fatalities from COVID-19 had hypertension, more than third diabetes, and almost a quarter obesity.
A Win For The Next Generation
That data must have contributed to the 31 votes in favor to amend the existing “Law on the Rights of Girls, Boys and Adolescents” to include the prohibition to sell, gift, distribute and endorse unhealthy products to minors.
The measure was proposed by Magaly López Domínguez, from the Morena party, in 2019.
Cancer, diabetes, and hypertension are all diseases attributed to the consumption of sweet and high caloric products.
Prohibited high-calorie food and beverages are defined as products “that exceed the maximum limits of added sugars, saturated fats, trans fats, and sodium, under the Corresponding Mexican Official Standard.”
The law imposes sanctions to violators, and businesses did not receive the news lightly.
The business that violates the law will be fined and even have their businesses closed.
Re-offenders will face jail time.
The ban also covers vending machines.
Domínguez emphasized that the law was not made to prevent the sale of said products.
Rather, it is a measure to regulate who can consume them.
They can sell, just not to minors, she said.
Organizations such as Unicef (United Nations Children’s Fund) through country representative, Christian Skoog, expressed approval.
FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) country representative, Lina Pohl, likewise acknowledged that the law will help address child malnutrition in the country.