The Center for Science in the Public Interest is urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate soda and other sugary beverages, comparing the drinks to a "slow-acting but ruthlessly efficient bioweapon."
A press release published last week touts support from "leading scientists" and the public health departments in Baltimore, Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Portland, for its proposal.
Part of the release reads:
"As currently formulated, Coke, Pepsi, and other sugar-based drinks are unsafe for regular human consumption," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. "Like a slow-acting but ruthlessly efficient bioweapon, sugar drinks cause obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The FDA should require the beverage industry to re-engineer their sugary products over several years, making them safer for people to consume, and less conducive to disease."
"If one were trying to ensure high rates of obesity, diabetes, or heart disease in a population, one would feed the population large doses of sugary drinks," said Walter Willett, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. "The evidence is so strong that it is essential that FDA use its authority to make sugary drinks safer." Willett is one of 41 leading scientists and physicians who signed a letter to FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg in support of the petition. Willett and his colleagues have conducted epidemiology studies that strongly link consumption of sugary drinks to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and gout. [Emphasis added]
This image is part of an infographic distributed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. (Photo: Center for Science in the Public Interest)
The release also notes that some health experts are starting to regard soda they way they do cigarettes, and that public policy seems to be heading in that direction, also. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is one well-known example of a lawmaker crusading against sugary beverages.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest has released a 54-page petition detailing "problem of crisis proportions" they believe sugary beverages have caused in the United States.
[Front page image via Shutterstock]
(H/T: Washington Examiner)