This article examines the policy change process that resulted in the current sugar-sweetened beverages taxes in Mexico and Chile, using the Kaleidoscope Model for Policy Change, a framework developed for nutrition and food policy change analysis. We used a qualitative study design, including 24 key informant (KI) interviews (16 researchers, 5 civil society representatives and 3 food/beverage industry representatives), encompassing global and in-country perspectives. The analysis shows concurrence with the Kaleidoscope Model, highlighting commonalities in the policy change process. These included the importance of focusing events and coalitions for agenda-setting. Both top-down executive leadership and bottom-up pressure from civil society coalitions were important for the policy adoption as were flexible framing of the tax, and taking advantage of windows of opportunity. In both countries, the tax resulted from national, revenue-seeking fiscal reforms and in sub-optimal tax rates, as a result of the industry influence. KIs also discussed emerging evaluation results, highlighting differences in interpretation concerning the magnitude of change from the tax, and shared potential modifications to the current policies. This analysis contributes to a greater understanding of the policy change process focused on obesity prevention, using an innovative theoretical framework developed specifically for food and nutrition policy.

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