Soda Warning Label Introduced in California Senate to Combat Obesity and Diabetes Epidemics

February 13, 2017

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – In an effort to combat the numerous public health problems associated with the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) introduced Senate Bill (SB) 300, which requires health warning labels to be placed on sugary beverages sold in California.

“The State of California continues to see a rise in obesity and type 2 diabetes among its residents and it is occurring at younger and younger ages,” Senator Monning said.  “Strong and compelling scientific evidence clearly shows drinking sodas, sports drinks, and other sugary drinks heightens your risk for preventable chronic diseases.  Consumers have the right to know about these potential harmful health impacts, and SB 300 will empower Californians to make healthy beverage choices.”

Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is far more harmful than consuming the same amount of sugar when it is in foods due to its damaging effect on the body’s metabolism, liver, and pancreas.  By forcing the body to quickly absorb sugar in liquid form, blood sugar levels spike, the liver becomes fatty, and the body becomes insulin resistant – all major risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

“As a physician, I regularly see the adverse effects sugar has taken on kids and the lack of public awareness regarding this health crisis,” said Dr. Robert Lustig, professor of pediatrics in the UC San Francisco Division of Endocrinology and director of the UCSF Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health Program.  “Sugar is the ‘alcohol of the child.’ Every can of soda does the same thing to your liver as a shot of vodka. No wonder children now get the diseases of alcohol – type  2 diabetes and fatty liver disease – without the alcohol. We have warning labels on alcohol. We need them for sugar for the same reason.”

SB 300 would require beverages with added sweeteners of 75 calories or more per 12 ounces to have a warning label that states:

STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and tooth decay.

*Graphics of the SSB warning label and video of Senator Monning speaking about SB 300 available upon request.


Contact: Elizabeth Stitt, (916) 651-4017