SACRAMENTO, Calif. A California bill that would require warning labels on sugary drinks, highlighting an attempt to educate consumers about the risks of obesity, diabetes and tooth decay from consuming soda, cleared its first hurdle last week.
On Wednesday, April 9, the Senate Committee on Health approved the legislation by a vote of 5 to 2. Senate Bill 1000, introduced in February by Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel), now moves to the Senate Committee on Appropriations for consideration.
“Consumers have a right to know about the adverse health effects of frequent sugary drink consumption," Monning said in a statement.
Research shows that drinking one or two sodas daily increases the risk of preventable diabetes by 26% while just one soda a day increases by 55% the likelihood that a child will become overweight, according to Monning.
“Science has conclusively shown that the jolt of liquid sugar delivered by a soda and other sugary drinks plays a unique and leading role in driving both diabetes and obesity epidemics," said Dr. Harold Goldstein of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, in a statement."The average American is drinking nearly 45 gallons of these products a year, with little understanding of just how much damage they do to their health. It’s irresponsible to sell such risky products without properly warning consumers of the threats they face."
SB 1000 would require the following disclaimer on beverage containers with added sweeteners that possess at least 75 calories per 12 ounces: "STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay."
CalBev, the state arm of the American Beverage Association, opposes the legislation, noting only 4% of calories in the average American diet come directly from soda.
"We agree that obesity is a serious and complex issue. However, it is misleading to suggest that soft drink consumption is uniquely responsible for weight gain," CalBev said in a statement, commenting on SB 1000.
The legislation reflects growing interest in regulating sugary drinks, with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's failed soda ban representing the most well-known attempt to date to limit consumption of sugar-laden beverages.
Obesity affects more than one-third of U.S. adults and roughly 17% of children and adolescents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC).