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This Mexican ad blames Coke for the country’s obesity epidemic

Coca Cola on ice
AP/Rebecca Blackwell
A Mexican organization is urging people to drink water instead.
By Svati Kirsten Narula
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

In Mexico, where more than two-thirds of adults are either overweight or obese, the government instituted a one-peso-per-liter tax on sugary drinks in January to help its citizens slim down. And public health officials say it’s working: Surveys show that Mexican consumers drank less soda this year because they associate it with obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes and heart disease are the top two causes of death in the country.

In a powerful new public service announcement, the public health advocacy group El Poder del Consumidor seeks to turn even more Mexicans off soda. It borrows Coca-Cola’s “Haz feliz a alguien” (“Make someone happy”) tagline, but instead of depicting people raising Coke bottles in festive cheer, it features families whose Christmases have been saddened by complications of Type 2 diabetes. Watch:

“What would make you happy this Christmas?” asks the ad.

“That my dad were here with us,” says a little girl.

“That my mom could see her grandson,” says a woman holding an infant, while sitting beside her elderly mother, who is blind.

“That my dad could play soccer with me,” says a boy as he hands a soccer ball to his dad, who is in a wheelchair and has had one leg amputated.

“HAZ DEPORTE” (“PLAY SPORTS”)  appears on the bottom of the screen throughout.

The ad continues with some depressing statistics: “50,000 people in Mexico are blind because of diabetes”; ”Someone’s limb is amputated every seven minutes because of diabetes”; and “In Mexico, 66 people die each day from drinking sugary drinks.”

It concludes by urging viewers to “make someone happy” by sharing the video and removing soda from their tables.

El Poder del Consumidor also orchestrated a demonstration against Coca-Cola in Mexico City to coincide with the launch of this ad, according to the nutrition activist and New York University professor Marion Nestle.

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