Oaxaca bans junk food sales to children

Despite the fierce opposition of retailers, state legislators in Oaxaca have voted to ban the sale of “comida chatarra” (junk food) to minors, the first state in Mexico to take such drastic action in a bid to reduce childhood obesity.

The ban will include all sugary drinks and foods with high calorie content.

Morena Party legislator Magaly López Domínguez said the regulations would not include traditional Oaxaca foods, such as chocolate, pan de yema or tlayudas. She said the law was not a “prohibition” of these foods but a measure that allows parents to decide the kind of products their children consume

Oaxaca’s Alianza Nacional de Pequeños Comerciantes (Alliance of Small Businesses) disagreed, calling the regulation “irresponsible” and doomed to fail. Representatives said it was a “fallacy”that legislation of this kind can contribute to correcting the “cultural issue” of balanced nutrition in Mexico.

Mexico’s Undersecretary of Health, Hugo Lopez Gatell, the country’s chief coronavirus spokesperson, applauded the Oaxaca legislators, calling the new law a “very positive initiative.”