Just like tobacco and alcohol warnings, we need to help people to understand the risks associated with sugar-sweetened beverages.”
A Field Poll released Wednesday showed that California voters’ greatest concerns about children’s health are related to foods that are risk factors for obesity and diabetes.
“Diabetes is insidious and life-threatening, and the incidence of diabetes has doubled in the last 20 years,” said Harold Goldstein, executive director of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy. He said sugar-sweetened soda deserves much of the blame. “It’s the number one source of added sugar in the American diet.”
Goldstein raised the grade-school science experiment where teeth are placed in different liquid suspensions, and the one in soda dissolves away after a few days. “That same thing happens when the teeth are in your mouth,” he said. “Sugar is a disaster for our teeth.”
Sodas and other sweetened drinks are different from other unhealthful foods, such as pizza or junk food, Monning said.
“It’s not a fair comparison with other foods, which may have high salts or fats but at least those have some nutritional value,” Monning said. “These drinks have zero nutritional value.”
Monning said he hopes this bill, if successful, might prompt similar efforts elsewhere.
“We hope it would pave the way for a national effort,” Monning said.
This article is reprinted from California Healthline, a free, daily online news service funded by nonpartisan California HealthCare Foundation and distributed by Associated Press.