Similar to warnings on cigarettes or alcoholic beverages, sugary drinks in California could soon see labels advising consumers about health risk as well.
Nicholas Wray displays a content label on an energy drink that might be required to add a warning about the dangers of consuming sugary drinks under proposed legislation in California that made it through the state Senate Thursday. (AP/Rich Pedroncelli)
A bill that would require such warning labels on sodas and other drinks with added sugar passed in the California Senate Thursday and will move on to the state Assembly and later to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk.
"Liquid sugar is a significant and unique driver of obesity, preventable diabetes, and tooth decay,” Democratic state senator and author of the bill Bill Monning said, according to Reuters. "Some people accuse this [bill] of nanny governing and yet it is the government that’s responsible to protect the public health and safety of its people.”
If the bill is signed into law, the label would read, "Drinking beverages with added sugar contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay," KFSN-TV reported. It would be required on drinks that have added sweeteners and are 75 or more calories per 12-ounce serving.
Many have come out in support of the warning labels.
University of Liverpool public health professor Simon Capewell called the labeling idea an "interesting natural experiment" that "may offer an effective new strategy to complement existing, potentially powerful interventions like marketing bans and sugary drinks duties," Medical Daily reported.
Rhonda Hansen, a California who told KFSN she lost 140 pounds by cutting out soda, said she thinks "there should be labels on everything on what's everything."
Conversely, Zackary Hansen said he doesn't think such a label is necessary.
"People have known for many years that it's unhealthy so why now do you have to put a label on it. When it's something already known and discussed," Hansen told the news station.
Watch KFSN-TV's report about the bill moving forward:
In the last few years, many state governments have tried or considered banning sugary drinks in some capacity. California banned soda in public schools in 2005 and Connecticut followed suit in 2006. New York City tried to ban sugary drinks of a certain size within city limits in 2012, but the ban was later ruled unconstitutional.
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