The World’s Fattest Major Country Consumes An Astounding Amount Of Coca-Cola Products

Roberto A. Ferdman and Matt Phillips | Quartz | November 5, 2013

Mexico has approved both a soda tax and a junk food tax, which it expects to generate some $16 billion annually. But there’s a deeper reason why the taxes, like large swaths of the Mexican populace, are so hefty: Something has to be done about Mexico’s eating habits.

Mexico is more than pleasantly plump

Some 33% of Mexicans are obese and 71% are either obese or overweight, according to the country’s latest national health survey. According to 2008 data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (pdf, pp. 73-79), Mexico at that point had the highest rate of obesity among large countries (though a number of small island states have far higher rates). Since then, though, the US obesity rate has overtaken Mexico’s, at 35.7%.
More weight, more health care spending

At present, nearly 15% of Mexico’s health budget is spent treating obesity-related ailments. In 2008, the country dropped over 40 billion pesos ($3.2 billion) on the disease, more than double (Spanish link) what it spent in 2000. Nearly 10% of Mexico’s population now suffers from diabetes, which is associated with increases in obesity rates—that’s the highest rate in the world among countries with populations of at least 100 million. [...]