Poll finds support for warning labels on sugary drinks

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sodaNearly four of five registered voters in California are in favor of labeling sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda, according to KQED’s “State of Health” reports.

The program cited a statewide Field Poll commissioned by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy that found 78 percent of participants support warning labels for sugary drinks. That’s up from 74 percent in 2014.

When asked why they support warning labels:

  • 28.6 percent said labels would encourage “greater personal responsibility” for individuals to cut sugar consumption;
  • 28 percent said consumers have a “right to know the truth” about the products they purchase;
  • 21 percent said labels would help parents make better choices for their children.

The state’s beverage industry group, CalBev, has been promoting the Clear on Calories initiative that more clearly labels calorie content in drinks, but Executive Director Bob Achermann said in a statement to KQED that adding warning labels to sugar-sweetened drinks would be misleading.

“The best way to promote balanced lifestyles is through fact-based information,” Achermann said, “rather than simplistic approaches that target just one product but don’t ultimately address complex health challenges.”

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