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California Won’t Put Obesity Warnings on Sugary Drinks

2 minute read

Sugary soft drinks in California will not have to carry labels warning of diabetes, obesity and tooth decay after a bill died in the state Legislature on Tuesday, facing stark opposition from the food and beverage industry.

The measure, which would have required soda and other sweet beverages to advertise their negative health effects, passed the state Senate in May but failed on Tuesday in the Assembly’s health committee.

“Protecting the public’s health from the adverse effects of these products will help combat the diabetes and obesity epidemics in California,” said Democratic Senator Bill Monning, who failed last year to pass a measure enacting a tax on the drinks.

New research has shown that the overconsumption of carbohydrates, sugar and sweeteners is chiefly responsible for obesity and Type 2 diabetes, while the negative effects of fat have been greatly exaggerated.

(Read more in TIME’s June 23 cover story: Ending the War on Fat)

Public health advocates have proposed measures to fight rising obesity, and consumption of sugary drinks and junk food in states including California, Illinois and New York, but lawmakers have generally opposed regulations.

Illinois lawmakers rejected a soda tax in late May and a ban on large servings of sugary drinks proposed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was halted by a state judge last year.


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