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Public Health Institute and California Project LEAN Applaud Proposal to Place Health Warning on Sugary Drinks

February 13, 2014

Statement from Dr. Lynn Silver, Public Health Institute

The Public Health Institute (PHI) and PHI's California Project LEAN (Leaders Encouraging Activity and Nutrition) applaud the courageous initiative of Senator Bill Monning and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, Senate Bill 1000, to require warning labels on certain sugary drinks in California. Putting the proposed label, “STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay,” in front of consumers will go far towards spreading understanding of their significant health risks.

The science linking sugary drinks to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and tooth decay is incontrovertible. Heart disease and diabetes are not rare conditions, they are two of the leading causes of death. And yet sugar-loaded beverages with zero nutritional benefits continue to be among the most heavily marketed in the nation. Exploding portion sizes, ubiquitous placement and aggressive marketing have made sugary drinks the largest single component of the growth in caloric intake of Americans over recent decades.

Like warning labels on cigarettes or alcohol, requiring the soda industry to tell people the truth about the risks associated with consumption of their products is an important first step in promoting better health. Contrary to what multi-million dollar advertising campaigns purport, drinking these products regularly will not make you happy. Instead, it can land you in the hospital. It’s time to let people know. We strongly encourage the state legislature to support this bold proposal.

About the Public Health Institute

The Public Health Institute, an independent nonprofit organization, is dedicated to promoting health, well-being and quality of life for people throughout California, across the nation and around the world. 


About California Project LEAN

California Project LEAN, a program of the Public Health Institute, works to advance nutrition and physical activity policy in schools and communities in order to prevent obesity and chronic diseases. For more information, visit www.californiaprojectlean.org.