16 July 2014
Last updated at 11:17
The number of overweight and obese people has doubled in Mexico since 1980, studies suggest
Mexico is restricting television advertising for high-calorie food and soft drinks, as part of its campaign against obesity, the government says.
Such ads will be banned with immediate effect on terrestrial and cable TV between 14:30 and 19:30 on weekdays and between 07:30 and 19:30 at weekends.
Restrictions will also be imposed on similar ads shown at the cinema.
Seventy percent of adults and 30% of children in Mexico are obese or overweight, official figures suggest.
Overall, 40% of commercials for soft drinks, confectionery and chocolates will disappear from TV, in favour of products which “meet nutritional standards”, the health ministry is quoted as saying.
As an additional measure, from 2015, manufacturers will be made to label the sugar, fat and saturated fat content on their food and drink products.
Mexicans have the highest incidence of diabetes among the 34 member states of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Mexico is keen to tackle the growing incidence of diabetes and high cholesterol in its citizens
They are also the world’s heaviest consumers of sugary drinks, at 163 litres per year, and their diet is rich in fried food.
Health experts estimate the nation’s weight problems will cost the public health care system $11.7bn (£7bn) by 2017.
Last year, the Mexican government introduced taxes on high-calorie foods and drinks, as part of its obesity prevention strategy.