In New York, lawmakers have introduced a proposal to place a warning label on sugar-sweetened beverages. And California lawmakers have also introduced a similar bill. We have said it before, these misguided policies will not make people healthy.
That point was reinforced this week by Maston Sansom of the Food Industry Alliance of New York State in his testimony against adding warning labels that would single out beverages for obesity - even though thousands of products contain more calories than soda, juice and teas.
“It's such a complicated issue, there needs to be more focus on education as opposed to just singling out this one product,” Sansom was quoted in an article by the Associated Press.
He’s right. Warning labels that demonize one product or one ingredient will not help reduce obesity rates. In fact, calories from beverages have been on the decline for years due in part to industry’s innovation in providing more low- and no-calorie beverages, while at the same time obesity rates increased. Clearly then, soda cannot be the driver of obesity in America.
If lawmakers want to get serious about solutions to this complex public health issue it starts with educating consumers about balancing their food and beverage calories with physical activity.
Beverage companies are doing their part by helping to educate Americans by providing choices and information. The Coca-Cola Company, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and PepsiCo have joined in the Balance Calories Initiative to set a goal of reducing beverage calories consumed per person nationally by 20 percent by 2025. Through this initiative we are providing people with choices, information support and motivation to make the decision that is right for them.
To learn more about why warning labels are not effective visit YourCartYourChoice.com.