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Más de 40 investigaciones en el mundo demuestran la conveniencia de los impuestos a las bebidas azucaradas

Por: Luz Stella Álvarez

Profesora Universidad de Antioquia

   

 
 


Sorprende la desinformación con la que representantes de algunos gremios están enfrentando en los medios de comunicación y en los foros públicos, el debate sobre la propuesta de poner impuestos a las bebidas azucaradas. Sorprende porque se dice sin rubor alguno que no hay evidencia científica sobre los diferentes aspectos relacionados con la propuesta. En primer lugar, para una mayor claridad conviene dividir estos aspectos en tres grupos a) la relación entre consumo de estas bebidas y el riesgo de padecer obesidad y/o diabetes,  b) la conveniencia de la medida si se compara con otras como por ejemplo la educación a la población sobre hábitos de vida saludables y c) sus efectos sobre la salud pública. Pues bien, sobre todas ellas hay conocimiento científico validado.

Por eso con el ánimo de permitir que la ciencia sea tenida en cuenta en este debate, pongo a disposición al finalizar este artículo la bibliografía (los PDF) de investigaciones sobre todos los aspectos mencionados. Parte de ella fue mencionada en un comunicado que un grupo de investigadores de diferentes países dirigieron al Ministro de Salud de Colombia respaldando la propuesta.  Su comunicado se suma al que también entregamos a los medios de comunicación 64 investigadores y profesionales de la nutrición de Colombia (ver comunicado).

En síntesis las investigaciones realizadas en diferentes países concluyen que: 

- Cuando se consumen bebidas azucaradas aumenta el riesgo de obesidad y diabetes. Por ejemplo algunos estudios muestran que si se consumen dos bebidas azucaradas al día el riesgo de diabetes aumenta dos veces. Otros estudios hechos en adolescentes muestran que por cada bebida azucarada extra que consuma el riesgo de obesidad aumenta 60% 

- Las investigaciones financiadas por la industria del azúcar no encuentran el vínculo entre  el consumo de estas bebidas y las enfermedades mientras que las que no son financiadas por ellos si lo encuentran 

- La diabetes y la obesidad han aumentado en promedio 20%  los costos de los sistemas de salud 

- Las ciudades de Estados Unidos están implementando la medida. Algunas son: San Francisco, Chicago, Filadelfia, Berkely, Portland. En América Latina ya lo hacen países como   México y Chile

- En México la experiencia ha sido exitosa. El consumo de bebidas disminuyó 10% en la población más pobre que es la que más padece obesidad y diabetes

- Los impuestos a las bebidas azucaradas son más útiles (cuestan menos y tienen más efecto) como medida de salud pública que las campañas educativas a la población 

- La industria de los azucares no se afecta de manera considerable con este medida

- Conviene que el impuesto sea al menos del 20% del valor de la bebida para que tenga mayor impacto

 


Referencias bibliográficas

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