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Taxation of Beverages and Sweetened Products in Morocco:

A Major Achievement and a Model to Follow In the Mena Region.

Author: Jamal Belkhadir, Mostafa Brahimi, Hassan Aguenaou, Hicham El Berri, Latifa Belakhal, Fatima Gouaima Mazzi, Kebira Benabed

Category: JMSR Public Health


The analysis of the various reports of the epidemiological situation of obesity and diabetes in Morocco with in particular the reports of the WHO, the High Commission for Planning of Morocco (HCP) and the report of the American Mc Kinsey Study Bureau in 2014, shows a sharp increase in diabetes, obesity and their morbidity and mortality.

With a Moroccan population of 35 million inhabitants in 2017, the number of people with diabetes (2.5 million), pre-diabetes (2.4 million), obesity (3.6 million), overweight (10 million including 63% of women and 16% of children) is alarming. The consequences in terms of morbidity and mortality and direct and indirect health costs through reduced productivity for the economy of Morocco and for society as a whole are very high. Total annual expenditure related to obesity amounts to $ 2.4 billion, or 3% of Morocco's GDP.

The causes of this increase in obesity and diabetes are closely linked to profound changes in lifestyle: high-calorie diet rich in fast sugars, reduction in physical activity, etc. This is how it is demonstrated that too much consumption of sugary drinks is harmful to weight maintenance, metabolic balance and cardiovascular health. Conversely in many experiments around the world, the number of people with overweight and a risk of diabetes decreases significantly when the reduction of refined sugars is carried out by several preventive measures including increasing the tax on sodas, juices and other sugary drinks.

The members of the Working Group who have been working together for several years in Morocco on the “Taxation of sweet products” within the framework of the Moroccan League for the Fight against Diabetes and the Moroccan Society of Nutrition, Health and Environment, have carried out multiple actions advocacy and sensitization with the government, the ministry of health, the parliament, the university, civil society and the media.

The soda tax was finally adopted by the Moroccan Parliament in the 2019 finance bill. A first in the Middle East and North Africa region. In December 2019, a new acquisition was made during the discussion of the Finance Law Project (FLP) 2020 by the introduction of a progressive Internal Consumption Tax (ICT) on sugary drinks in proportion to their sugar concentration. The aim is to encourage manufacturers to reduce the sugar content of sugary drinks and energy drinks to avoid over-taxation.

On the other hand, the support recently given in 2020 by the National Council of Human Rights of Morocco to this tax constitutes a very large acquisition, with a new institutional and socio-cultural dimension of human rights for the preservation health in Morocco. Members of the working group will continue their efforts to extend this tax to all products containing a significant amount of sugar. The same is true for other toxic products such as salt, fat and tobacco.

Keywords: Diabetes, Obesity, Prevention, Tax soda, Morocco

DOI: 10.46327/msrjg.1.000000000000176



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