Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The obesity epidemic grows by 3.6 million people annually in Latin America, prompting governments to take big steps to ensure that children grow up with healthy eating habits.

The big picture: "One country and one strategy at a time, the region has pushed back against sugary beverages and ultra-processed foods in an effort to escape the obesity epidemic that has overtaken the United States," the Washington Post writes.

Why it matters: If successful, the plans emerging in Mexico and Chile could serve as models for other countries struggling with obesity's public health toll, including the U.S.

  • Childhood obesity can lead to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, asthma and a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, in children as well as adults. It may also lead to higher risk for cancer in adults.

The Chilean government has passed restrictions on how and when companies can market unhealthy food to children.

  • Brands are not allowed to use child-friendly marketing for foods high in sodium, sugar, calories or saturated fats, per the New York Times.
  • Unhealthy foods must have "large black cigarette-style warning labels," writes the Financial Times (subscription).
  • TV channels and movie theaters are not allowed to show ads for unhealthy foods between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., according to the Post.
  • Chile also increased its sugar tax from 13% to 18% in 2014 to target soda consumption, per the FT.

The results:

  • Monthly consumption of sugary drinks fell by 21.6%, according to a study from the University of York and the University of Chile.
  • Sales of sugary breakfast cereals dropped 9%, per the Washington Post.

In Mexico, heavy soda consumption helped increase the childhood obesity rate by 40% between 1999 and 2006, the Guardian reports.

  • "In absence of clean municipal water, many communities over the years have turned to soda as their main source for hydration," the Wall Street Journal says.
  • The Mexican government passed a 10% sugar tax in 2012 that affected all junk food and sugary beverages, per the Washington Post.

The results: Consumption of soda and junk food fell 12% nationally after the tax passed.

  • The Mexican government hauls in $1.2 billion from the soda tax, and $967 million from junk food tax revenue annually, per the Washington Post.

Uruguay, Argentina and Peru have passed laws similar to Chile's that limit the marketing of unhealthy food to children.

In the U.S., the Trump administration cut health guidelines for school lunches while the CDC says childhood obesity is a "serious problem" in the U.S.

  • "Obesity prevalence was 13.9% among 2- to 5-year-olds, 18.4% among 6- to 11-year-olds, and 20.6% among 12- to 19-year-olds," per the CDC.
  • Cereal giant Kellogg's recently agreed to stop marketing some of its sugary breakfast offerings as "healthy," "wholesome" and "nutritious," as part of a settlement to a lawsuit.

Go deeper: Nearly 25% of people in OECD countries are obese

Go deeper

Woman who allegedly stole laptop from Pelosi's office to sell to Russia is arrested

Photo: FBI

A woman accused of breaching the Capitol and planning to sell to Russia a laptop or hard drive she allegedly stole from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office was arrested in Pennsylvania's Middle District Monday, the Department of Justice said.

Driving the news: Riley June Williams, 22, is charged with illegally entering the Capitol as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct. She has not been charged over the laptop allegation and the case remains under investigation, per the DOJ.

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID-related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.