Earlier this week California lawmakers began to propose adding health warning labels on soda products. This bill would make California the first state to put warning labels that you see on cigarette packs but now on soda products. In order to reduce the rate of obesity, California has decided to add warning labels on all sugary drinks in order to let consumers know the risk of drinking these products.
They want warning labels on the front of cans and bottles of any kind of sugar drinks that have added sugar and 75 or more calories of sugar per 12 ounces. The label would read: “STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.”
At fast food restaurants their self-serve soda dispensers will have the label on the dispenser. In movie theaters or businesses where the dispenser is the label will be placed. In dinning restaurants, the label might be on the menus.
Senator Bill Monning said “As with tobacco and alcohol warnings, this legislation will give Californians vital information they need to make healthier choices.” The choice of soda labels is also being supported by the California Medical Association.
The bill so far has one opposer CalBev, the state arm of the American Beverage Association. They said “The proposal unfairly singles out one type of product for regulation.” “CalBev opposes the bill because obesity is a complex condition that can’t be boiled down to one specific product or ingredient,” said Jessica Borek, a CalBev spokeswoman. “We agree that obesity is a serious and complex issue,” CalBev said in a statement.
“We agree that obesity is a serious and complex issue,” CalBev said in a statement. “However, it is misleading to suggest that soft drink consumption is uniquely responsible for weight gain. In fact, only four percent of calories in the average American diet are derived directly from soda.”
Americans, on average, drink more than 45 gallons of sugary beverages a year, according to Dr. Ashby Wolfe of the California Medical Association. Drinking just one soda a day increases an adult’s likelihood of being overweight by 27% and a child’s by 55%, according to a World Health Organization-commissioned study published last year in the British Medical Journal.
So far the bill is said to be effective on July 1, 2015. Monning said “I hope that it would become a model for the rest of the country.”