The Debate for Warning Labels on Soft Drinks
Once again, California is at the forefront of the health revolution, this time with proposed legislation* of adding warning labels to soft drinks:
The proposed warning label came on the heels of California’s obesity and diabetes epidemic, which has taken a toll on public health and healthcare costs. The label would be similar to those found on cigarettes and alcohol, with the idea that consumers should be informed about the health problems associated with excessive sugar consumption.
Studies show that Americans tend to consume more sugar than we should, and that excessive sugar consumption can lead to a host of health diseases, including obesity and type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association even recommends that people should avoid intake of sugar-sweetened beverages to help prevent diabetes. Liquid sugar in beverages such as soda, fruit punch and other soft drinks has been shown to raise blood glucose levels quickly and significantly. Just one 12-ounce can of regular soda has 40 grams of carbs — equivalent to 10 teaspoons of sugar. California Center for Public Health Advocacy’s executive director Harold Goldstein says it’s much easier to overindulge in sugar in liquid form than on the same amount found in food.
In New York, a ban on super-sized sugary drinks was overturned before it was able to take effect in 2013. Other cities and states have attempted to impose “soda tax” with limited success. New proposed legislation in New York aims at educating rather than banning, so consumers can make informed choices about what they purchase and consume.
Do you think sugary soft drinks should come with warning labels?
Note: *California’s SB 203 failed to gain enough votes in the Senate Health Committee yesterday (April 29, 2015), but the California Center for Public Health Advocacy indicates that they will continue to push for more education about the harmful effects of drinking excessive amounts of liquid sugar.