Although Mexico has been reported as the world’s biggest consumer of CocaCola, new research indicates that in terms of soft drink consumption as a whole, the country ranks fourth in the world.
The market research firm Euromonitor International said Mexico’s consumption of soft drinks totaled 137 liters per capita in 2014, down from 2013 when it ranked third globally.
Argentina took top spot last year with 155 liters per person, followed by the United States at 154 and Chile at 141. Latin America led world consumption, drinking 56 billion liters.
Mexico saw a slight increase last year — 0.49% — but that was lower in relation to other countries. Euromonitor says the federal tax of one peso per liter on sugared drinks, imposed in January 2014, has contributed to changes of habits among consumers.
Some have switched to soft drinks with fewer calories and others to flavored water.
While Mexico may be lower on the soft drink consumption ranking, it is at the top of another that indicates deaths caused by sugared drinks. The Tufts University study revealed there were 405 deaths per million adults, or about 24,000 deaths in total, due to the consumption of sugared beverages.
Mexico is not only at the top but far ahead of the next country on the list, South Africa, where the rate was 153.3 deaths per million.
Worldwide, the research found, the consumption of sugared drinks was linked to 184,000 deaths every year, 133,000 from diabetes, 45,000 from cardiovascular disease and 6,450 from cancer.
Researchers conducted dietary surveys of more than 600,000 people to calculate the effect the beverages had on public health. The American Beverage Association disputed the findings when they were first presented in 2013, noting they had not been peer-reviewed.
But the peer reviews have now been conducted and the findings published.
Meanwhile, an advocacy group in the U.S. has launched a campaign aimed at reducing soft drink consumption. “Change the Tune,” produced by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, is a spoof on a famous CocaCola ad called “Hilltop” that first aired in 1971.
In Mexico, the video is being promoted by the consumer advocacy organization El Poder del Consumidor, or Consumer Power.
“We are excited to be part of international efforts to reduce consumption of sugar drinks, which are causing diabetes, heart disease, and obesity worldwide,” said executive director Alejandro Calvillo. “This remake of the most famous CocaCola commercial in history exposes the reality and human drama of the toll of this product on people’s health, compared to the fantasy of happiness that CocaCola has always marketed to populations around the globe.”