Mexico’s War on Obesity Sends Global Junk-Food & Sugary-Drink Giants Scrambling

The Pandemic strengthened the resolve to fight obesity.

By Nick Corbishley for WOLF STREET:

Since Mexico’s government has passed one of the strictest food labeling laws on the planet in October last year, all soft drinks cans and bottles, bags of chips and other processed food packages must bear black octagonal labels warning of “EXCESS SUGAR”, “EXCESS CALORIES”, “EXCESS SODIUM”  or “EXCESS TRANS FATS” — all in big bold letters that are impossible to miss. Many states have also introduced legislation making it much more difficult for retailers to sell junk food and sugary drinks to children.

Evidence from other countries suggests that warning labels can be effective. Chile started requiring them in 2016. It also limited cartoon food packaging, prevented schools from selling unhealthy foods, restricted TV adverts, and banned promotional toys. Over the next two years, sugary drink sales in Chile plunged by 23%. According to one study, the labels reduced the likelihood of people choosing sugary breakfast cereals by 11% and sugary juices by almost 24%. A nightmare for the companies affected.

The prospect of something similar transpiring in Mexico, a country almost seven times larger than Chile and that consumes more processed food than any other country in Latin America, unnerved global food and beverage companies. The United States, EU, Canada and Switzerland, home to some of the world’s biggest food companies, tried to derail the new legislation. But to no avail. The arrival of Covid-19, which has proven to be particularly lethal to people with three comorbidities — obesity, diabetes, and hypertension — has strengthened the government’s case and resolve.

Over a dozen of Mexico’s 36 state governments have banned or are in the process of banning the sales of soft drinks and junk food to children. In Mexico City, the local government has proposed a law that would ban the sale, delivery and distribution of packaged foods with a high caloric and energy content and sugary drinks to children. The law will also ban the presence of soft drink vending machines in schools.

Mexico’s Senate also recently passed a law that will compel educational authorities to prohibit the sale of foods with low nutritional value and high caloric content in the vicinity of school facilities while promoting the establishment of healthy food outlets. There are also moves afoot to restrict the advertising of foods high in fat, salt, sugar and saturated fats on children’s television channels.

These moves have raised concerns that the government is overstepping its bounds. The business lobby group Coparmex said that banning the sale of junk food and sugary drinks to minors represents a frontal attack on commercial freedom and freedom of choice. It will also have serious economic consequences for businesses in the retail sector.

But those consequences are dwarfed by the economic and health impact of widespread obesity. This is particularly true in the time of Covid when the risk of death from the virus is about 10 times higher in countries where more than half of the population is overweight, according to a report released in March by the World Obesity Federation. Data has shown that while age is the predominant factor affecting risk of hospitalization and death from Covid-19, being overweight comes a close second.

In Mexico obesity reached epidemic proportions after it joined NAFTA with the United States and Canada in the early 1990s, making processed food more easily available. Diets quickly changed as many people, particularly those on lower incomes, replaced largely healthy traditional staples (corn tortilla, frijoles, Jamaica Water) with highly processed alternatives (hotdogs, nuggets, sodas). Sugar consumption soared and waistlines exploded. In the past 20 years the number of obese and overweight people has tripled, with 75% of the population now overweight.

Mexico also has the sixth highest mortality rate from Covid-19, which has spurred the government to escalate its war against obesity. But for the global businesses that manufacture ultra-processed foods and sugary drinks, that war could end up posing a serious threat to their business models, especially if it other countries take a leaf out of Mexico and Chile’s book.

The American Bakers Association (ABA) recently warned that Mexico’s new labeling laws are causing difficulties for US manufacturers trying to export food and beverages to Mexico. In a letter sent to Katherine Tai, head of the United States Trade Representation, the lobbying group complained that the Mexican government is applying regulatory actions that it says are not based on science and are not aligned with the work of the Codex Alimentari Commission, the global body responsible for all matters regarding the implementation of the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme. ABA also argues that Mexico’s new labeling laws may contravene some provisions contained in the USMCA, the updated NAFTA agreement, particularly Mexico’s  commitments under Chapter 11 (technical barriers to trade).

The problem for ABA and the companies it represents is that critical issues of human health — in particular that of diet — tend to take on greater import and urgency during a global pandemic. What’s more, the Mexican government is not alone in its fight against obesity. It has the support of some pretty powerful allies including the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), a regional branch of the World Health Organization (WHO). And PAHO is calling for the use of front-of-packaging warning labels almost identical to Mexico’s throughout the Americas, which would suggest that the war against obesity has only just began. By Nick Corbishley, for WOLF STREET.

Enjoy reading WOLF STREET and want to support it? You can donate. I appreciate it immensely. Click on the beer and iced-tea mug to find out how:

Would you like to be notified via email when WOLF STREET publishes a new article? Sign up here.

  130 comments for “Mexico’s War on Obesity Sends Global Junk-Food & Sugary-Drink Giants Scrambling

  1. Fabio says:

    Many more countries should be doing this! It takes guts to do it!

    • Joe Saba says:

      ban GMO and corn fructose
      see simple

      • TDAWG says:

        It’s not the ingredients but the recipe that’s the problem. Fruit has more fructose than soda, but it’s paired with fiber. Cereal and chips have the same affliction, no fiber. If you make something highly palatable, it doesn’t matter much what is in it, it will make you fat. Food processing just makes food to tasty for our own good.

    • nodecentrepublicansleft says:

      I agree! Good for Mexico, the same thing should happen here.

      I remember being in school thinking “WHY is all the food so damned terrible?!?! WHY?”

      The stuff in the cafeteria and the machines were utter garbage. I thought children were so important to us in the USA?! Lies.

      I don’t agree with everything Michael Moore says but he did make one brilliant film called “Where Do We Invade Next” and it’s something everybody should see.

      It illustrates by using examples from other countries how people in the US are getting screwed over. When they ask these people in other countries where the idea for their superior version (of almost everything) came from…the answer is always “Oh, the USA. Years ago…..”

      They show kids in France at school. Go look at what THEY eat. They have chefs, real food, no junk, no garbage…it’s healthy, in reasonable portions.

      It made me want to cry when I think about the garbage American kids stuff down their gullets every day.

      When I see a kid drinking a mountain dew and eating a bag of chips and I think “Yeah…that’s part of why this country is going into the toilet. If you eat garbage, you can’t think straight.”

      What Mexico is doing is called COMMON SENSE.

      • demsRdims says:

        I acknowledge there is corn lobby that tries to fill our bodies with high fructose corn syrup.

        But sheesh, whatever happened to responsible parenting and individual accountability? Are we looking for French chefs and common sense portion control now?

        • JakSiemasz says:

          Kids in schools are a captive audience. They have no choice. Lots of kids in the US depend on the schools for their meals.

        • demsRdims says:

          I agree, schools have become indoctrination and experimentation labs.

          But kids can, and many do carry food from home. Hence the comment about ‘responsible parenting’.

      • Argus says:

        Indeed. I recall visiting a school in Athens years ago and the children were having baked stuffed bell peppers, cooked with garlic and olive oil, for lunch. Compare that to hot dogs!

    • Mira says:

      it n takes a lot of .. “GUTS”
      really ??
      why ??

  2. Lone Coyote says:

    Weight gain during the pandemic has been an issue everywhere. Saw some articles a few weeks ago that in the US millennials who gained weight got about 41 more pounds on average. I doubt much of that is coming off once this is all over. To be honest, I’m worried that the health impacts of that are going to be catastrophic in coming years.

    Although, to be honest, I’m struggling to see how that happened. While I could probably stand to lose 5-10 pounds (or at least convert it to muscle), 41 pounds is a ridiculous amount. Were people just sitting at home shoveling food into their food hole all last year?

    • Swamp Creature says:

      Lone Coyote

      I noticed the same thing. Its probably from to much sedentary activity like watching Netflix etc. Also, too much take out Pizza etc.

      I was very careful about my diet and exercise during the pandemic. All the healthy restaurants that we used to go were closed. Had to do much more home cooking and avoided take-out and processed foods. Went on the Mediteranian Diet on the advice of a Physician. Worked well. I am the same weight as before the pandemic. Didn’t gain anything and learned how to cook better healthier foods.

    • Henry says:

      I’ve maintained weight, going running last spring, and returning to gyms as soon as they opened here, but one of my friends, also in his late 20s, who has been much more COVID-cautious than I have, stayed in all winter, and hardly got any exercise beyond pacing around his room and doing a few bodyweight exercises. He just got vaccinated, and is planning to return to the gym to try and work off the weight he gained this year. This is in a place with medium COVID-restrictions.

      In general, I would expected that people either cautious about social contact like my friend, or who used to get exercise through social activities like spin classes, running groups or volleyball teams (or just walking around town going to events), could have gotten a lot less exercise this year.

  3. Elmer Pleasant says:

    Obesity seems to affect Mexican women way more than Mexican men for some reason.

  4. Not in the USA. We’re free nation. Hold my coke. Pass the Doritos. Burp.

    • Up North says:

      Those money vampires companies claim the responsibility is with the customer; the government says we end with the medical bill.
      In Canada you can’t miss the tobacco warnings on packs: what’s so different about the dangers of your Body Mass Index totally getting out of hand?
      The health system costs this engenders must be terrible to behold…
      All in the name of profit for a few folks. Same story again.

      • Jarhead John says:

        Up North;
        Don’t we know…The times they are a changin’…It is now someone elses fault that a person with a 60 pack year history of smoking dies due to the latest global germ infestation attacking their lungs… In this case, let’s blame the education system. Since proficient reading skills are no longer required in many venues, a smoker cannot be expected to read the warning label that states “Smoking is hazardous to your health. It causes cancer, emphysema and heart disease.”
        Or maybe one should accuse the cigarette manufacturers…A smoker can read the warning, but was never informed that a lung pathogen combined with COPD and emphysema would be a ticket to the hereafter club.
        Personal responsibility for one’s choices is Soooo 20th. century.

    • Helmut Beintner says:

      OR in Canada , after what would we do with all the corn syrup ,the main ingredient in all Softdrinks . beside the corporations making that junk would have to find other means to earn a living .

    • Bill says:

      Nobody is stopping you as an adult from buying or eating fatty, salty or sugary food! It’s just giving you piggy warnings!

  5. aqius says:

    “I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed.”

    ― Lloyd Dobler “Say Anything”

  6. Artem says:

    I think this has the intended side-effect of protectionism, actually. It will certainly raise prices on imports from the US. Maybe we should use our crops to make ethanol and biodiesel instead.

  7. Just a touch of Big Brother here, but the health and economic costs of obesity are really quite huge. Covid-19 aside, since we still do not have both arms around this bug to choke it, diabetes, heart disease, and a myriad of other severe health issues, some circulatory, from obesity are the result of this high sucrose, high caloric diet. Just shop at WalMart where spandex is still in fashion, and you may lose your appetite for food shopping.

    Now the dental profession in Mexico is probably also secretly upset, but the dentists may no longer have to strap the hyper-active kid into the torture chair, I mean dental chair, to work his or her magic. Sugar works on tooth enamel like an acid. Now there is some hypocrisy here on my part, since I am medically addicted to dark chocolate, but I have very good dental hygiene and exercise like a politician trying to spin a yarn.

    Since their packaging does not have to be bi-lingual like here in the States, the cost to put a computer chip on it and track the offender for subsequent fines would be the likely next step. I say a hovering drone over the grocery stores could deliver dart punishment (fine comes in the mail or via text message) so that the dirty deed and retribution have an immediate link.

    Sorry, got to run to get my Covid Vaccines Passport; renewed my Real Passport early this year because emigrating is looking more desirable as the silliness Stateside goes into Hyper-Drive.

    • RightNYer says:

      If society is going to assume all of the costs of everyone’s bad decisions, then an element of big brother is necessary.

      I’d rather take a libertarian approach, but no one agrees with me on this, so it’ll never happen.

      • Anthony Cohen says:

        I agree. There should be personal choice and responsibility.

        • nodecentrepublicansleft says:

          There is….you have a choice to not read the warning!

          Society doesn’t take on the costs of “everyone’s dumb decisions”….mainly they do that for “too big to fail” corporations whose profits are private and massive losses are public.

          A huge bank screws up, they get bailed out.
          I screw up….I end up in the gutter.

          Just sayin’….if some of our less enlightened folks need a little nudge, perhaps it’s not the end of the world.

      • ElbowWilham says:

        I agree with you. I would prefer all drugs be legalized, but I don’t want to foot the bill for the side effects.

        • Putter says:

          There would be no bill for legalization of drugs! You would eliminate half the cops, judges, prisons, guards and ALL of the DEA!

        • MiTurn says:

          “You would eliminate half the cops, judges, prisons, guards and ALL of the DEA!”

          Yeah, well, tell that to the meth addict that broke into my house. He thought he was in his sister’s house. I had to call the cops and they had to wrestle him to the ground. He was violent, defending his “sister’s” house. Yeah, he’s the victim…

  8. A says:

    The life expectancy in America is declining.
    The life expectancy in America is declining.
    The life expectancy in America is declining.

    We are literally capitalist-ing and de-regulating ourselves to death. It’s time to support anyone who fights back against a corrupt system that is literally killing you.

    • C. Dennis Wright says:

      #1….great comment. Thanks.

    • 2banana says:

      What, of any significance, has been “capitalist-ing and de-regulating” in the last 30 years?

      Health care? No.
      Education? No.
      Housing? No.
      Starting a business? No.
      Paying taxes? No.
      Hiring employees? No.
      Building something? No.

    • ElbowWilham says:

      Where is the deregulating? Can you point me to that industry so I can join it?

      Every industry I get involved in starts out free. Then the government gets their dirty little paws in it by regulating the crap out of it. Eventually you get 2-3 large companies that can afford to meet all the regulations and legal requirements.

    • nodecentrepublicansleft says:

      Thank you! My friend used to work for the anti-tobacco campaign in FL, funded by the tobacco settlement.

      The group in SW Fla was called SWAT: Students Working Against Tobacco.

      They did wonderful things, educating youth and adults about the dangers involved. The GOP policy of doing nothing but promoting a culture war, cutting taxes for the wealthy/corps and killing all regulations is a race to the bottom.

      Can’t everybody agree that clean air, water and food is good for all of us?

      Tricky Dick Nixon signed off on the Clean Air and Clean Water Act….he’d be too liberal for Fox “news” viewers in today’s world.

    • taxpayer says:

      A, what is your source for declining life expectancy?
      According to life expectancy at birth increased from 78.81 in 2017 to 78.99 in 2021. The “official” life tables from CDC (“National Vital Statistics Reports”) only go up to 2018, showing 78.7 years, same as 2015. Not to say that Americans’ health is excellent, but this is a statistical fact that is readily estimated.

  9. C. Dennis Wright says:

    How does one exhibit shame in the US for having our government take the sides of these vampire companies that manufacture and sell these legal poisons and then export them all over the world? Absolutely unbelievable IMO. They can’t really believe they have a freedom to do this, can they?

    • cas127 says:

      Pretty much sure there are processed food companies native to essentially every nation on Earth

      May not be a fan of the product, but there is no unique “American Evil” here

      Even ye olde Communist countries had processed foods.

  10. Rage Against The Machine says:

    Soon, the southern border wall will be used to keep Americans and Canadians from migrating to Mexico.

    • Anthony A. says:

      Americans won’t go anyways…there are no Stimmi checks being handed out in Mexico. And, it’s too warm there for Canadians.

      • MiTurn says:

        “there are no Stimmi checks being handed out in Mexico.”

        There might be. Our dear leader Biden is thinking about paying people on Central America not to illegally cross into the US.

        Hare-brained strategy.

  11. Artem says:

    A, one-way tickets to Venezuela are heavily discounted. You can socialist-yourself to death, too.

    • A says:

      The same venezuela where the rich and powerful convince the population to be happy with their suffering, and declining life expectancy, while the rich and powerful loot the country and print endless money to be wealthier than they’ve ever been? That venezuela?

      And that sounds DIFFERENT than what’s happening in the USA?

      You gotta wake up to the fact the rich and powerful all love to play the exact same game, they just dress it up in different costumes.

      • Artem says:

        So the solution is to be unhappy, and/or to get rid of the rich and powerful?

        • A says:

          Think of it this way:
          There’s only a few tactics rich and powerful people can use to get more rich and powerful.

          In the 1920s Nazis and Communists we’re the most different things in the world. And yet by the 1940s Stalin and Hitler were basically doing the exact same stuff. Why? Because there’s not that many different ways for powerful people to get more powerful.

          Chairman Xi, Rupert Murdoch, Maduro, Koch; they’re all selecting a la carte off the same menu. Sure there are many differences, but even more similarities.

          This being a food-themed post I’d say never trust the packaging, always read what’s in the ingredients. And if the ingredients look suspiciously like something that is great for them and bad for you – that’s probably exactly what it is.

        • MCH says:

          Or to become rich and powerful. Can’t beat them? Need to find a way to join them.

    • tanstaafl says:

      Yeah, and while we’re at it, outlaw compulsory schooling, too, because, you know, socialism. As a compromise, let’s sell Snickers only in brown bags and only to adults.

  12. Xaver says:

    This is great news for Mexico. I hope other countries will follow and end especially protect the health of children. I guess Mexico had no other choice than to act. Covid added to that need.

  13. Cobalt Programmer says:

    1. Think how obese an average American (men or women) is. Now imagine half of the people are even more obese.
    2. Have you heard about the cereal killer on loose? a.k.a Keto diet
    3. Saturated fats and sodium are very innocent. Carbs combined with salt and fats are a deadly combo. Avoid carbs.
    4. Breakfast is “not” the most important meal of the day. Have a plain coffee.
    5. USDA nutritional pyramid is the greatest “hoodwink” in food history.
    6. All the poly unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) from soy and grains were dumped in to sewers. Cities banned the dumping of toxic materials. PUFA entered our food chain
    7. Lard and tallow (fat from animals) were used in cooking since 12,000 BC and suddenly they disappeared from supermarket shelves.
    8. There is no “Betty Croaker”. All her recipes were made by men in the Golden Mills board to accommodate the food supply.
    9. American salary good. American food bad.
    10. Mexican water bad. American soda good.

    • lenert says:

      What’s a “plain coffee?” You mean regular? What’s a regular coffee?

    • Harvey Mushman says:

      Soda Bad, Beer good!

      • Wolf Richter says:

        That’s my mantra :-]

      • Dan Romig says:

        The great thing for us beer loving people who have to stay off alcohol completely in order to keep our heart ticking in sinus rhythm, is that there’s now a tremendous selection of tasty 0.0% abv beers to enjoy. I enjoy Beck’s NA, but it’s 0.3%, and for me, better to avoid.

        A half liter of Estrella Galicia is perfect for dinner, and from where Nick is in Barcelona, a Moritz 0.0 refreshes nicely, like a light Bavarian pils, after a bike ride on a warm day.

        Lots of choices from a few of the local craft breweries in the Twin Cities too. How’s this for a name? ‘Hairless Dog 0.0 Coffee Stout?’

        Your body is a machine. You want it to perform well? You maintain it. You give it good fuel to burn. Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup is not good fuel.

        • Maximus Minimus says:

          With drunk driving penalties becoming draconian where I live, I was hopeful pubs will switch to low alcohol light beers, which are as tasty if not more than the alcohol bombs regular in NA, but tough luck. The minimum beer alcohol is hovering around 5%, except Pilsner Urquell at 4.3%, luckily my favorite.

    • ElbowWilham says:

      It is a shame that Saturated Fat still gets lumped in with Sugar for causing obesity. This is bad science from the 1960s. Saturated Fat is the best thing in the world for a human to consume. Cured me of all my ailments, lowered my body fat % and keeps me running all day like a diesel truck.

    • Rage Against The Machine says:

      Your comments are right on the money! Americans are fat and getting fatter under their standard american diet (SAD).

    • Stillastudent says:

      Cobalt Programmer: Exactly. It isn’t the fat in the french fry that makes you fat, it’s the carbs in the potato. Unfortunately, Mexico is following the WHO guidelines on diet, which has the fat, not the potato as the culprit- just as the U.S. and Canada do. For an education on diet and obesity Google and read Gary Taubes.

  14. lenert says:

    Bringing high-fructose corn syrup to a cocaine fight.

  15. rich says:

    Mexicans were healthier when they were on diets of rice, beans, corn and chili. Perhaps we would all be healthier on that kind of diet.

  16. DR DOOM says:

    Government kills millions at a time as in WW1 and we got another dose in WW2 and so on. So do not place any moral requirement as a basis for government. If attracts the worse of the worse and gives them power and fools still line up to die and give them more . Governments help themselves not you. Don’t be fooled about this sugar bullshit. It’s about control.

    • OutsideTheBox says:

      Ya know….the theme about ” the elite wants CONTROL ” has recently piqued my interest.

      This seems to be the default answer to any occurrence that an individual finds objectionable.

      Yet….what does that actually mean ?

      No one defines it or details it……so it means nothing.

      ( Except as a story worthy of a Mission Impossible screenplay )

  17. Satya Mardelli says:

    The snack food titans will make some U.S. politicians very wealthy by giving campaign contributions (aka bribes) to the targeted pols campaign war chest. The politicians will be very reluctant to make any regulation that impairs their cash collection activities. Watch the politicians talk out of both sides of their mouth on this one.

  18. Beardawg says:

    It is a slippery slope, but many things done for the benefit of children must be taken seriously. If we had let the cigarette makers walk on, we would have more minors addicted and suffering from lung cancer at young ages.

    Parents cannot be there 100% of the time their kid is tempted by friends, merchants, etc to put the poison in their bodies, and food is 2nd only to oxygen and water for sustenance !

    Couple that with a society becoming more resistant to physical exercise (due to transportation tech, digital entertainment options), and many of these kids are doomed.

    • tooshort says:

      Isnt food 3rd only to water and oxygen then…?

    • Anthony A. says:

      Besides taking away stuff whit HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) in it, parents need to keep the children off the video screens (usually hours a day). Going outdoors and playing for a few hours is a better choice and use of that time.

    • exiter says:

      Seems factual that all forms of money presuppose the availability of food, clothing and shelter.

      Me thinks there’s a black-swan in there somewhere.

  19. Agast in CA says:

    Convenience is killing us.

    My wife is a teacher in CA and tells me stories about kids who are at a normal weight in kindergarten and leave the school obese by the fifth grade. Parents pickup their kids and hand them a liter of coke and a bag of Takis (spicy chips). These daily habits produce the obese kids seen on campus.

    She also noticed that the families that had comorbidities tended to catch the Corona virus. Teachers talk, they know what is happening.

    Besides, who is dumb enough (ABA) to promote the idea that kids are smart enough to make their own diet choices? If you’re poor and/or a latchkey kid, I get it. They will feed themselves whatever they find but should not have that freedom once the parent(s) is/are home.

    In my day, the Assistant principal used to chase the Helms and ice cream trucks away from our school. Meals served on campus were actually cooked. No processed food like today. Unfortunately, the poorest kids have to eat this crap because of the free meal programs. More informed parents don’t allow their kids to eat school meals. They send them with real food.

    F**k NAFTA and the Corporate Conquistadors. I am so happy to hear Mexico is looking out for its best interests. It will take time to change people’s eating habits but they are on the right track!

  20. David Hall says:

    In the US Hispanics live longer than Caucasians or Blacks. I think they eat more bean and corn tortilla burritos.

    A diet low in fat, refined grains, salt and added sugar is healthier. Green leafy vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables are healthy. A diet high in meat, dairy and fish is not as healthy.

    • Petunia says:

      I still haven’t gotten around to having chicken & waffles. But I did try bacon doughnuts.

      • RightNYer says:

        Some baseball stadiums now serve a bacon cheeseburger with Krispy Kreme doughnuts as the buns. Personally, I think that sounds revolting, but people seem to like it.

        • stan6565 says:

          With a pint of ketchup to dip into, sounds like a family gathering delicacy !

        • David Hall says:

          The World Health Organization has identified red meat as a carcinogen. Chicken is a leading source of cholesterol in America. Diets high in cholesterol and saturated fat increased risk of coronary artery disease – heart attacks.

    • Jeff says:

      Don’t be so sure about that. Evidence is increasing that high fat diet may in fact be healthy, i.e. saturated fats will turn out to not be the culprit, but it will in fact be the highly processed industrial seed oils that are bad.

      Put another way – some fats are good, some are bad. We still know surprisingly little about which is which, particularly since our bodies and food intake is so complex.

      • Dan Romig says:

        Canola oil is thought to be a healthy ingredient by many. North central North Dakota is where there’s a lot of acres of canola.

        What do the farmers do up there before harvest? Spray Roundup on the crop to dessicate it and make it easier to combine. Not all of them, but quite a lot to.

        When you see canola oil in the grocery store, it probably has an extra ingredient, free of charge: glyphosate.

        • Dan Romig says:

          Just to double-check, I went back to last fall to recall from my weekly agriculture news emails from Red River Farm Network.

          September 6, 2020: ‘Canola Harvest is Coming Fast in Devil’s Lake, ND Area’

          BASF Seed Advisor Rob Hamann says farmers are starting to dessicate the crop. “There’s been a few odd fields getting harvested and I haven’t heard yields on those yet, but the majority of harvest will be around the corner here,” said Hamann.

          BASF has their own brand called Heat. “Tank mixing Heat with glyphosate or using it alone for pre-harvest applications quickens the rate of crop dry down …”

    • Stillastudent says:

      Unfortunately, your prescription for a healthy diet has no science to back it up. It sounds like the prescriptions issued by dietitians in the U.S. and Canada which have led to the current state of obesity. Epidemiology will not give you the science, just a hypothesis which you then have to test and try to prove wrong, not right.

  21. Petunia says:

    I don’t have any problems with truth in labeling, people will still eat whatever they like. Besides, some of the most unhealthy looking people I’ve met are vegetarians.

    • BuySome says:

      They may look unhealthy, but everyone tastes better on Soylent Green brand crackers. Check your local grocers specialty isle. Soon available in TV tray versions too.

  22. Whitey says:

    And there’s good old virtue signaling Canada near the top of the list, opposing policies that benefit the health of children. Isn’t Freeland a mother herself? She should raise her own kids on that garbage and administer the daily insulin shots herself.
    Our government must have a hell of a PR firm. The “Lima Group” and this mess will never hit the mainstream media at home. Posters who slag off the US and extol the virtues of Canada take note.

  23. tanstaafl says:

    Haven’t heard about Jamaica Water before. Sounds really good & I will try it. Thanks.

  24. MCH says:

    Somewhere in the bowels of some place, there are PRI politicians are having meeting with members of Hersey, Nestle, Coke, Pepsi, etc discussing how they can get rid of AMLO and get back in power.

    And to ensure they had adequate support, representatives from McDonalds, YUM brands, etc are also invited along with their colleagues in the pharma and biotech industry. Cause they have to make sure all of the support is there to do another legal overthrow of a legitimate government.

    • stan6565 says:

      You forget the technical department, CIA, NSA, FBI, emmm, did I forget anyone?

      • Anthony A. says:

        Don’t forget the insulin suppliers. They need to be there too.

        • MCH says:

          Covered under the broad banner of pharma and biotechs. Remember insulin formulations can be patented. More moolah.

          As for the alphabet soup, I didn’t mention them cause of course they are there. What else do we expect… they are everywhere.

          You see, somewhere there is a corporate map detailing the human life span in every country and showing which part of the life span belongs to which groups of companies. In the US for example, ages 18 to 25 are targeted by junk food groups, car companies, purveyors of student loans, etc. of course it goes without saying that the targeting is also supported by socioeconomic status, geolocation a and other factors, after all, no one is going to peddle Whole Foods or Mercedes in south central LA, but cheetohs, coke, Cheap imported cars, those are all fair game.

          Doh, silly me, I shouldn’t say somewhere as if I didn’t know at least a couple of such locations where these types of maps exist, Mountain View and Menlo Park comes right to mind.

  25. LouisDeLaSmart says:

    Thanks Nick, I was waiting for the follow up eagerly.

  26. Curious says:

    I think the obesity problem is partly due to government bans on mirrors, bathroom scales, clothing sizes, vision, etc. Not just in Mexico, but in many countries, such as the U.S. Just lift the bans and things should improve.

    When governments first banned mirrors, except for rear-view mirrors in autos, people could no longer see how they looked objectively. Looking down at your tummy is still allowed, but then there are tricks that make that less useful. And if anyone spots you looking at your waistline you could be turned in for the crimes of self-analysis and doctor-avoidance.

    With the subsequent bans on bathroom scales, there is now no simple objective way to tell if or how much weight a person has gained. Fortunately, as autos have weight capacity still listed, it has no doubt contributed to the shift to average folks buying SUVs and trucks, which have much higher capacities.

    The bans on listing clothing sizes has made clothing manufacturing simpler, but sales have gotten more cumbersome. However, with people no longer having to ask for L, XL, or XXL, there is less embarrassment or guilt when shopping for clothes.

    The ban on vision is a no-brainer on contributing to obesity, since without the ability to see fit people in either the real world or on screen, where obesity is less common, there is no objective standard to go by.

    However, governments’ latest effort is to ban the profession of modeling in photography. It force magazine covers to replace models with the Table of Contents. Added to that are the latest bills to outlaw the term “health food” from store types or in-store sections, since they implied that the rest of the store’s items, such as cookie, cracker, candy, soda, and liquor aisles, may in fact be “unhealthy,” which we know can’t be true.

  27. Dano says:

    If the “snack food” companies miss those sales, just wait for the blowback they get from going “woke” here in the US.

    • WES says:

      Coke-Woke to a boycott!

    • nodecentrepublicansleft says:

      If everybody was just a little more woke, the world be a better place.

      Woke is not a dirty word….it just means ‘not asleep’. Just substitute the words ‘aware’ when you say ‘woke’ and it all makes sense.

      Here’s a way to be woke about chicken. I went to college with a guy who majored in Poultry Science. He was a Rush Limbaugh Republican. He hated liberals, tree-huggers, etc.

      So I see him several years after graduation and he’s working for Tyson Chicken out of Jacksonville. He proceeds to tell me his job is to go around to chicken farms and perform various tests. OK….

      He said “Man, it would blow your mind…they feed the chickens to much growth hormone that 2/3rds of them get so big, so fast….that right before we harvest them….their legs break from the weight. They’re like weeble-wobbles. It’s crazy.”

      I tried to imagine how big I would have to get before my legs snapped. What? 600lbs? 800lbs? 1,000 lbs? I don’t know but what he told me sounds really messed up. Money over everything else in the US. Greed!

      This wasn’t some Libtard….this was a dye in the wool, Republican Robot and even he could not believe the sick stuff this corporation was doing.

      • Brian says:

        Fiat money has encouraged short term profits over long term sustainability. Make that money now before it is worth less tomorrow. Fiat money is destroying the planet while making a few people rich and turning most people into debt slaves. Fix the money, fix the world.

  28. Yvon says:

    That’s great news for Mexico. Hopefully Canada and US follow soon.

    • Helmut Beintner says:

      And replace all the industry ,health clubs and doctors that benefit from the fat people , come on there is to much money at stake. A paid for gouvernment will only provide lip service. ONE does not want the election contribution to dwindle

  29. Ron says:

    Mexico better ban beer and tequila both high in calories also America should quit buying there tomatoes like eating cardboard

  30. Xavier Caveat says:

    I noticed the USA putting on a lot of weight with the introduction of all-you-can-drink soda stations in fast food restaurants, how about a 2nd or 3rd soda, they’re free after paying for the first one, help yourself!

  31. Kenny Logins says:

    Go look what athletes eat.

    Then understand what most people eat isn’t really food, it’s just edible material that is cheap to make and store and has huge margins.

    The whole Western world food industry has gone nuts really.

    It needs destroying, but poor health is good business too…

    Which tells you everything you need to know about Western governments motivations.

    • Xavier Caveat says:

      I was at a Clippers game around the turn of the century in most excellent seats a few rows behind the bench, and watched a trainer clandestinely pour an A & W root beer into a water bottle for one of the players.

      • MonkeyBusiness says:

        Mostly right does not mean always right. Also high intensity exercises will deplete the glucose in your body super quick.

        Michael Phelps consumed between 8K to 10K calories a day during his peak, and you didn’t see him get fat.

        As usual Amedodos don’t understand context. Can you eat sugary stuff, etc? Absolutely, just make sure you have an active lifestyle and you’ll be fine.

        • Xavier Caveat says:

          I couldn’t imagine running up and down the court trying to fit a ball through a hoop only slightly larger in circumference just after quaffing down a soda. I’d be hurling.

        • MonkeyBusiness says:

          I think it’s very much dependent on your specific body type. Quoted from the Wall St Journal: “In an era when many athletes have become obsessed with nutrition, Mr. Rodgers’s soda routine reveals a surprising truth: Many high-level athletes not only drink the occasional soda, they use it strategically to fuel their performance.”

          There’s this myth that sports drinks like Gatorade are healthier than soda. They are not :(

    • OutsideTheBox says:

      Nonono…..Western CORPORATIONS motivations !!!!

  32. Yozíme Río says:

    Good. Laws should protect us against killers, not letting someone with no idea about the meaning of calorie, much less the conversion of glucose to fatty acids, the pathogenesis of obesity, and its morbidity and mortality, fall in the traps of well-conceived marketing strategies and the resulting idiotic, consumerist society… Unless laws are made and paid by the makers of the well-conceived marketing strategies. One of the problems I see with America is the role that an idea such as freedom plays in it, an idea that even the most important philosophers have had difficulties dealing with, and that, however, almost everyone in the US appears to have a very sound understanding of, I hope, after a profound, extensive and rigorous analysis.

    • ElbowWilham says:

      I am so glad with have the rich, intelligent elites to protect us from ourselves.

      • OutsideTheBox says:

        Awwwww…….You’re sad because you prefer stupid….ya know FREEDUM !!!!!

      • Yozíme Río says:

        That’s your problem, that you think about elites vs. non-elites… What? Do you prefer the advise of a wise-man or a physician who went to the university? Whom are you going to trust with COVID? A guy like Donald Trump that doesn’t even know what questions to ask or behave responsibly? Yes… Like it or not, there are people in this world who know much than you about a bunch of things. Get fat like a pig. At the end the spirinolactone, the lisinopril, the carvedilol, the aspirin and the oxygen that you’re going to need, plus the wheelchair, and the frequent hospital bed will do a lot of good to the elites.

  33. Alex says:

    The Freshman 15 now has a competitor.. The COVID 19.

  34. josap says:

    Try shopping only the outside, edge isles of the grocery store for a month. This is where all the produce, eggs, meats are placed. The deli counter with (usually) better cheeses is kept. Stay away from the pre-cooked food offered.

    Just try it for a month.

    • Rumpled Bemused says:

      One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is learning how to cook. Prepared foods are not only unhealthy, they taste awful. The more you eat fresh produce, whole grains and meat from healthy animals the more disgusted you’ll be with chemically laden food products. And, you will find yourself eating less because your food is actually nutritious and you’ll feel sated.

      Some of you want to argue this is just a choice issue, bullshit. Look at Americans from the early seventies and before when fast food and processed foods were almost nonexistant. Obese people were rare.

      • Kenny Logins says:

        One of my favourite treats now is flapjack.
        Organic oats, organic coconut oil and honey.
        10 min prep 30 min cook. Easy.

        Yummy yummy and subtle flavours and sweetness.
        Maybe some dark chocolate drizzled over the top.

        Shop stuff is like eating sweet flavoured gritty cardboard.

        I don’t get how people can buy it and enjoy it to come back, but they do.

        So there is definitely something in getting used to shoddy food… though I suppose that’s your brain getting used to the flavour of it, the body clearly doesn’t get used to the madness of it.

  35. Swamp Creature says:

    When my kid was in high school I went to a meeting with the principal and some other people to discuss the quality of the food in the vending machines, and what could be done to improve. Little did I know that in the meeting was a vendor who supplied the junk food to the vending machines. The attendees at the meeting told me that the revenues from the vending machines supported the sports programs at the school. They weren’t interested in my suggestions. They were only interested in profits from selling junk food to the kids. I did get them to agree to turn off the machines after school hours.

  36. Felix_47 says:

    There are so many things that need to be addressed in Mexico that are vastly more important. I worked in Honduras for five years among the poor 30 years ago. Even then they were cursed with an insane rate of population growth and decreasing resources. The only drinkable material they had was soda. The water was undrinkable due to fecal contamination everywhere. I set up some fish ponds so they could get some protein and the water was fine for that. Even the poorest had to pay a major chunk of their income for soda. From what I see now it is pretty much the same problem orders of magnitude worse. Just as 30 years ago everyone who can comes to the US.

    • Wolf Richter says:


      Boiling water for 10 minutes does the trick. That’s the classic method before sodas. Every family I had contact with — I lived with them — in central America and in Mexico in the late 1990s boiled water for drinking purposes. In Mexico, they made agua fresca out of it by adding just a little fruit (for example, an orange or a lime for several liters of water for some flavor… very good and essentially sugar-free.

      At the time, no family I knew with had sodas at home.

  37. Mira says:

    I have not been to Coles supermarket in the last year .. I say Coles because my mobility scooter fits nicely with the floor plan at the store in Gaffney St .. I am house bound at this time so I don’t know todays shopping modes.
    But .. over a period of maybe 10 years I have noticed that the biscuit shelves were shrinking as were the candy shelves .. & many products have just disappeared.
    So .. it might not be as big a slap in the face to the junk food industry as they make out .. but a cry in desperation.

  38. dj says:


    In Defense of Processed Food: It’s Not Nearly as Bad as You Think

    Robert L. Shewfelt (Author)

  39. Poor like you says:

    Oh man, this is GREAT news. The greatest preventative medicine is

    1.) Strong healthy friendships
    2.) a balanced diet
    3.) exercise

    Can’t wait till we can have these types of restrictions in the states. Might be waiting a long time, but I’ll just go exercise with my friends-and eat some veggies after- while I wait.

  40. bunky says:

    Maybe the weight problem stems from people becoming more prosperous.

  41. Gian says:

    Food is either poison or medicine, choose wisely. I know, last October my dentist over prescribed antibiotics and destroyed my gut microbiome. I lost 30 lbs, which I did not have to give. After seeing a worthless pill prescribing traditional doctor, I found a Holistic doctor and nutritionist, who have taught me how and what to eat to heal. It is not difficult to resist the sugar, carbs, meat, processed and pesticide laden foods when illness befalls you, money is meaningless when your health is in jeopardy. It is said that “25% of what we eat keeps us alive, 75% keeps our doctor alive”. Although I am still trying to gain weight (can’t believe I said that), which is hard to do on a plant based, whole grain diet, I have never felt better. Bravo to Mexico and all nations that are impacting corporate purveyors of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, etc… and ultimately big pharma’s bottom line, too!

  42. Asul says:

    “Supersizse me” was made in 2004, I think and “Food inc.” in 2008 …. and nothing really changed in the US. It can’t change. You must have fat people in order to consume more food, and then spend it on diets, accessories, training equipment, fitness … etc. Then they must go to hospitals for health problems, pills, or to dr. Now to get a gastric bypass … A whole economy built on fat people.

  43. DanS86 says:

    Humans were not meant to eat grains (including corn). Try eating a grain seed raw. We have also lost healthy bacteria in our guts due to synthetic pesticides which leads to inflammation which leads to…weight gain.

  44. Brian says:

    Just don’t put that label on my grass fed ribeye.

  45. 2BFrank says:

    One result will be a lack of personnel for the military, 240lbs 5′ 7″ marine anyone?.

  46. rick m says:

    I’m a skinny guy in a not-skinny area, genes and disinterest in food plus physical work make my food and obesity opinions irrelevant. I feel bad for them though, it’s too hot here. I’m Certainly no better just lucky.
    Labeling food is fine. As locks are just reminders for the honest, labels are prompts for the wise, and they don’t hurt anyone else. It’s possibly one of the least injurious outcomes of bureaucratic meddling and employs analytical biochemists and label printers. And children read product packaging and will keep us superannuated slackers informed. If not for my nieces I’d still be on a flip phone.
    Good coffee requires nothing added. The birthplace of coffee, the Horn of Africa(still the best)had better uses for milk and sugar.

Comments are closed.