California considers warning labels on sugary drinks
SUMMARY: California might be the first state to put a warning label on soda and other sugary drinks.
Posted: February 24, 2014
"STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay."
This is what the label on soda containers would read if a new health-focused bill drafted by California lawmakers passes. Legislators in The Golden State are currently weighing the requirement to put these warning labels on sodas and other sugary drinks.
SB1000 would make California the first state to implement the warning on soda. It would appear on the front of all beverage containers with added sweeteners that have 75 or more calories in every 12 ounces.
The bill's author, State Senator William Monning, cited research showing the link between sugary drinks and the health problems listed, adding that the wording was developed by a national panel of nutrition and public health experts. The bill has the backing of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy and the California Medical Association.
"The goal of the warning quite simply is to give consumers the right to know what are well-established medical impacts from consuming these beverages," Monning, who represents Carmel, told The San Francisco Chronicle. "We're talking about a public health epidemic that will take more lives than gun violence."
High acidity from sugary drinks has been known to cause cavities, teeth stains and canker sores.
The beverage industry responded by saying that drink containers list the number of calories on the label. However, there is a difference between calories and carbohydrates. Calories are units of energy that the body needs to function properly, whereas carbohydrates, which fall under the umbrella category of calories, are a group of organic compounds that include sugars, starches and fiber.
As you know, sugar is leading culprit of tooth decay, which is the most common disease in children. Consuming too much sugar can also lead to weight gain and and worsen conditions like diabetes.
Medical groups supporting the bill countered that sugary drinks are the largest source of added calories in the American diet. They pointed out that one soda per day increases an adult's chances of being overweight by 27 percent and a child's by 55 percent, while raising the risk of diabetes by 26 percent.
Most of us have seen the video where a tooth is placed in a bottle of dark soda overnight. The white enamel turns brown-yellow and the structure starts to cave in. This process of decay plagues teeth when you're sipping on beverages. For deep stains, you might want to look at tooth whitening options.
Monning compared the warnings to similar efforts to control alcohol and tobacco, stating that it's the government's responsibility to protect public health. The proposed legislation was announced in Sacramento on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014.