- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 31, 2014

California lawmakers passed a bill Thursday requiring soft drinks to carry warning labels for obesity, diabetes and tooth decay. The bill passed in the state Senate and moves on to the state Assembly before Governor Jerry Brown can sign it into law.

If the measure is adopted, California will join a growing national effort to curb soda consumption, which doctors say is the leading cause of diabetes and childhood obesity, Reuter reported Thursday.

The state already passed a law to ban sodas and junk food from public schools in 2005.

“Liquid sugar is a significant and unique driver of obesity, preventable diabetes, and tooth decay,” said Democratic state senator Bill Monning, author of the bill. “Some people accuse this (bill) of nanny governing and yet it is the government that’s responsible to protect the public health and safety of its people.”

Last year, Mr. Monning backed an unsuccessful measure that would have taxed soft drinks.

“Putting government warning labels on more than 500 beverages will do nothing to change personal behaviors or teach people about healthy lifestyles,” said CalBev, the California arm of the American Beverage Association, in a statement. “The last thing California needs is more warning labels.”

SEE ALSO: No smoking — at home? Calif. city passes strictest ordinance in U.S.

University of Liberpool public health professor Simon Capewell told Medical Daily that the labeling measure was an “interesting natural experiment” that “may offer an effective new strategy to complement existing, potentially powerful interventions like marketing bans and sugary drinks duties.”

But some people think the labels are unnecessary government intervention.

“People have known for many years that it’s unhealthy so why now do you have to put a lbel on it. When it’s something already known and discussed,” Zackary Hansen told local California station KFSN.

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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