Most of us know that too sugary soft drinks are not a nutritious choice. Now, consumer advocacy group CSPI wants warning labels on them, just like cigarettes:
In a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, the health advocates said that the agency should use its authority to require a rotating series of messages on labels of sugar-sweetened drinks, warning about the risks of weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and other health problems.
“In light of the overwhelming evidence linking soft drinks to serious diseases, consumers deserve to know—and soft drink labels should disclose—those health risks,” the organizations and experts wrote. read more…
What would these warnings look like? Here are some suggestions from CSPI:
- The U.S. Government recommends that you drink fewer sugary drinks to prevent weight gain, tooth decay, heart disease and diabetes.
- Drinking too many sugary drinks can promote diabetes and heart disease.
- For better health, the U.S. Government recommends that you limit your consumption
of sugary drinks.
- This drink contains 250 calories. Consider switching to water.
What you need to know:
Fat chance (pun intended) that this warning label is going to appear anytime soon. The beverage lobbies are way too powerful and have shot down any attempts to tax soft drinks or remove them from food stamps.
And to be fair, you can’t compare cigarettes to food or drink. Drinking an occasional coke is not harmful, but smoking is.
HOWEVER, when the average adolescent boy drinks over 4 cups of sugary soda EVERY DAY, it becomes a serious problem. Not just for the young man, but also for society. His chances of becoming obese multiply. He may get diabetes. He’ll have dental problems. And his medical bills will skyrocket by the time he is in his thirties. Estimates pin spending on obesity at round $150 Billion dollars a year. How’s that for cheap soda?
Soft drinks are the most consumed food/beverage in the US. They are super cheap to manufacture (water, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial flavors and colors). Portion size have more than tripled in the last few decades from 6 oz to 20 oz. And let’s admit, they taste good too. Is it any wonder we’re all hooked?
A few points to ponder -
- Perhaps a better approach is to raise the price of soda to reflect its real cost to society. This way the economics will work and less people will buy it. How much
- And what about diet drinks? They don’t have calories. But studies show that they aren’t helping people lose weight either.
What do you think? Should soft drinks have warning labels on them?
What to do at the supermarket:
Here’s a revolutionary idea: skip the beverage aisle all together.
Did you know that a family of 4 can save over $500 a year by switching to tap water?