California lawmaker makes push for health warning labels on soda

A California state senator is taking another stab at introducing a law that would require sugary drink manufacturers to put a warning label on their products, the latest effort in the “War on Sugar.”

Officials and public health advocates have heightened their criticism of sugar as a key contributor to health epidemics like obesity and diabetes, and California has become a major battleground in the fight against what they say is excessive sugar consumption.

San Francisco is battling Big Soda in court over a law requiring a warning label on advertisements for sugary drinks, and voters in four Bay Area cities have approved taxes on the products. On Monday, Democratic state Senator Bill Monning for a third time introduced a bill that would place warning labels on soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California.

Similar bills from Monning failed in 2014 and 2015, but the lawmaker said he sees a rising tide of support.

“Certainly the victories in local communities show a growing awareness of the health risk posed by these drinks,” Monning said by telephone, referring to votes in November in three Bay Area cities approving soda levies. Voters in Berkeley had approved a soda tax in 2014.

“This is not a tax measure. We’re not taking products off the shelves. This is about consumers’ right to know,” he said.

The legislation would require companies like Coca-Cola Co and PepsiCo Inc to put warning labels on beverages sold in California that have added sugars and have 75 or more calories per 12 ounces. The warning would state that drinking beverages with added sugar contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.

Soda companies are already facing declining sales of their namesake beverages and trying to introduce new products to meet changing tastes.

“America’s beverage companies already provide fact-based, easy-to-use calorie labels on the front of every bottle, can and pack we produce,” said an American Beverage Association spokeswoman, adding that “misleading warnings” won’t solve complex public health problems.

ABA has sued San Francisco to block the city from introducing a warning label on sugar-sweetened beverages. It recently lost a legal challenge to block a soda tax from being rolled out in Philadelphia last month.

Coca-Cola and the ABA have been sued by a nonprofit group for allegedly misleading consumers about the health risks from consuming sugary beverages. That case is in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

70 Most Popular Sodas Ranked by How Toxic They Are: <p>You don't need to live in Philadelphia to pay the price of drinking soda.</p><p>Philadelphia is the first major U.S. city to pass a tax on soda—1.5 cents per ounce, which is about $1 more for a 2-liter—and it's set to take effect on January 1, 2017. The beverage industry is already fighting the ambitious move, but we're hoping the law sticks. The truth is that you don't need to live in Philadelphia to pay the price of drinking soda. </p><p>Although we call them “beer bellies,” new science says we ought to call our bloated midsections what they really are: soda bellies. In a study of about 1,000 adults over the course of six years, people who drank soda or other sugar-sweetened beverages gained an extra 1.8 pounds of visceral fat—the fat that sits inside your gut, damaging your internal organs and pushing your belly out into a King of the Hill–style slouch. To put that in perspective, 1.8 pounds is about how much a fetus weighs at 24 weeks. This means you can go from your lean, slim self to looking like you’re in your second trimester just by drinking a daily soda, sweetened iced tea, or fruit punch. (Talk about a punch to the gut!) But instead of carrying a bundle of joy, you're carrying a bundle of toxic fat; Visceral fat has been shown to increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, among other ills. </p><p>Why is soda so good at making us look bad? It’s the sugar. The USDA issued new guidelines in early 2016, recommending no more than 180 sugar calories per day for women (and 200 for men). This is the equivalent of approximately 45 grams of sugar—an amount that many sodas and other sweetened beverages exceed in just one can. And if it’s not sugar, then it’s artificial sweetener, which is 180 times sweeter than sugar and just as damaging to your waistline.</p><p>Here, we’ve ranked the 70 most popular sodas: Category 1 has 32 regular (non-diet) sodas, and Category 2 has 38 diet sodas. Click through to see where your favorites fall—and then find out what else is on the list of <a href="">50 Little Things Making You Fatter and Fatter</a>.</p><p>SPONSORED: Exclusive offer for MSN readers! THE RAPID FLAT BELLY PLAN: You’ll get the Flat Belly Success Journal, quick and delicious 350-calorie recipes, the 100 healthiest supermarket swaps, and calorie-saving restaurant swaps and more to help you banish your belly fat faster than you ever thought possible. <a href="">Click here to start losing weight today!</a></p> 70 Most Popular Sodas Ranked by How Toxic They Are

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