Oaxaca makes history and protects children from junk food
On July 3 Oaxaca’s congress approved a reform that prohibits the sale of sugary beverages and junk food to kids and teenagers.
Oaxaca will go down in history as the first state in Mexico to ban the purchase of “unhealthy products” for kids under 18 years of age in an attempt to reduce high obesity and diabetes levels.
The law forbids the sale of sugary drinks and junk food to those underage. To get the products, kids would need to be accompanied by an adult so they can authorize the purchase and take responsibility for it.
About 73% of the population in Mexico suffers from obesity, Oaxaca being the leading state.
Because of this, new restrictions against minors purchasing sodas and junk food is a huge step forward for the country on health terms. Since the tax introduced on sugary drinks and junk food back in 2014, hasn’t stopped people from purchasing them.
The amendment was approved by 31 votes and aims to be a solution against childhood obesity and to reduce the number of kids with diabetes and hypertension in Mexico.
#AlMomento Con 31 votos a favor, la #LXIVLegislatura del Estado de #Oaxaca aprueba modificar la Ley de los Derechos de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes para prohibir vender, regalar, distribuir o promocionar productos no saludables a menores de edad. pic.twitter.com/pcFEV10PFK
— Poder Legislativo Oaxaca (@CongresoOaxLXIV) August 5, 2020
The legislation goes along with the initiative presented a couple of weeks ago by Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell establishing that all high caloric products must be labeled.
However, some detractors opposed the decision arguing the new legislation will harm Oaxaca’s economy.
The National Alliance of Small Businesses (ANPEC) presented a statement arguing that there has to be a better solution. They asked for “a proposal that benefits children without affecting the economy.”
To this, congresswoman, Magaly Lopez Dominguez responded: "There can be no room for economic interests over the health of infants."
Organizations like UNICEF celebrated the measure that aims to improve children's health.
Acciones como esta son sumamente necesarias pues protejan el derecho a una alimentación nutritiva, suficiente y de calidad de cada niña, niño y adolescente. @UNICEFMexico @Magaly_LopezOax @CongresoOaxLXIV pic.twitter.com/aTCcDG7Z9t
— Christian Skoog (@ChristianUNICEF) August 4, 2020
Hugo Lopez-Gatell also acknowledged the success of the legislation because it goes along with his declarations in recent weeks calling sugary drinks “bottled poison.”
Mexico’s health minister has made clear that obesity, hypertension, and diabetes, as well as the large-scale consumption of high caloric products, are highly related to COVID-19 fatalities.