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Las bebidas gaseosas y sus complejos retos

OXFORD – En marzo, el gobierno británico anunció sus planes de introducir en 2018 un impuesto a las bebidas azucaradas para enfrentar el problema de la obesidad infantil. En términos de los objetivos de salud pública que se propone, el éxito de esta medida (que se debatirá este verano) dependerá de los detalles y una rigurosa evaluación de los efectos.

El Reino Unido no es el único país al que le preocupa el avance global de las afecciones relacionadas con la obesidad, como la diabetes y los trastornos cardiovasculares, que son costosas enfermedades que pueden causar importantes discapacidades y una muerte temprana. Varios países han introducido impuestos a los alimentos y las bebidas poco sanas (o piensan hacerlo), en particular aquellos a los que se añade azúcar.

Por ejemplo, Chile tiene un impuesto del 18% a las bebidas con altos niveles de azúcar, Francia los aplica a bebidas a las que se añade azúcar y también edulcorantes artificiales, y en Hungría se aplican impuestos a los alimentos y bebidas con alto contenido de azúcar, sal y cafeína. Filadelfia en Pensilvania se convirtió hace poco en primera gran ciudad estadounidense en introducir un impuesto a las bebidas azucaradas.

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