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Public Health Nutr. 2018 Dec 18:1-7. doi: 10.1017/S136898001800321X. [Epub ahead of print]

Did high sugar-sweetened beverage purchasers respond differently to the excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in Mexico?

Author information

1Department of Nutrition and Carolina Population Center,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill,NC,USA.
2Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública,Cuernavaca,Morelos,México.
3Center for Health Systems Research,Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública,Avenida Universidad 655,Colonia Santa María Ahuacatitlán,Cerrada Los Pinos y Caminera,CP62100,Cuernavaca,Morelos,México.



To estimate changes in taxed and untaxed beverages by volume of beverage purchased after a sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) tax was introduced in 2014 in Mexico.


We used household purchase data from January 2012 to December 2015. We first classified the sample into four groups based on pre-tax purchases of beverages: (i) higher purchases of taxed beverages and lower purchases of untaxed beverages (HTLU-unhealthier); (ii) higher purchases of both types of beverages (HTHU); (iii) lower purchases of taxed and untaxed beverages (LTLU); and (iv) lower purchases of taxed beverages and higher purchases of untaxed beverages (LTHU-healthier). Next, we estimated differences in purchases after the tax was implemented for each group compared with a counterfactual based on pre-tax trends using a fixed-effects model.


Areas with more than 50 000 residents in Mexico.ParticipantsHouseholds (n 6089).


The HTLU-unhealthier and HTHU groups had the largest absolute and relative reductions in taxed beverages and increased their purchases of untaxed beverages. Households with lower purchases of untaxed beverages (HTLU-unhealthier and LTLU) had the largest absolute and relative increases in untaxed beverages. We also found that among households with higher purchases of taxed beverages, the group with lowest socio-economic status had the greatest reduction in purchases of taxed beverages.


Evidence associating the SSB tax with larger reductions among high purchasers of taxed beverages prior to the tax is relevant, as higher SSB purchasers have a greater risk of obesity, diabetes and other cardiometabolic outcomes.


High consumers; Mexico; Sugar-sweetened beverages; Taxes


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