California and New York legislators consider warning labels for soda.

  • Sugar has been in the news again recently, particularly as the federal government works to prepare the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and in light of FDA’s proposal to require a declaration of “added sugars” on the nutrition facts panel of packaged foods and beverages.
  • At the state level, legislators in California and New York have introduced bills to require warning labels on sweetened non-alcoholic beverages, indicating that the consumption of beverages with added sugars contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.
  • California and New York localities previously have taken action against sugary drinks in the form of Berkeley’s effective soda tax and former NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s controversial (and failed) ban on sugary drinks.  Although it is well established that excess sugar consumption is inadvisable, it remains debatable whether restrictive initiatives such as bans, taxes, and warnings at the state and local level strike the optimal balance between public health and consumer choice.