Cost-Effectiveness Of The Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Excise Tax In Mexico

Health Aff (Millwood). 2019 Nov;38(11):1824-1831. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2018.05469.


An excise tax of 1 peso per liter on sugar-sweetened beverages was implemented in Mexico in 2014. We estimated the cost-effectiveness of this tax and an alternative tax scenario of 2 pesos per liter. We developed a cohort simulation model calibrated for Mexico to project the impact of the tax over ten years. The current tax is projected to prevent 239,900 cases of obesity, 39 percent of which would be among children. It could also prevent 61,340 cases of diabetes, lead to gains of 55,300 quality-adjusted life-years, and avert 5,840 disability-adjusted life-years. The tax is estimated to save $3.98 per dollar spent on its implementation. Doubling the tax to 2 pesos per liter would nearly double the cost savings and health impact. Countries with comparable conditions could benefit from implementing a similar tax.

Keywords: Body mass index; Childhood obesity; Children’s health; Cost savings; Costs and spending; Diabetes; Diseases; Health policy; Mexico; Obesity; Sugar-sweetened beverages; Taxes; public health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Humans
  • Mexico
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / economics
  • Sugar-Sweetened Beverages / economics*
  • Taxes / economics*