Warn­ings over sug­ary drinks get ini­tial OK in San Fran­cisco

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS -

So­das and other sug­ary drinks con­trib­ute to se­ri­ous health prob­lems, San Fran­cisco su­per­vi­sors determined, as they voted unan­i­mously last week to ap­prove health warn­ings on ad­ver­tis­ing for such bev­er­ages.

The soda in­dus­try said it might sue to block the or­di­nance, while sup­port­ers said they will seek to ex­pand the ad la­bel­ing be­yond the city. It’s be­lieved San Fran­cisco would be the first place in the coun­try to re­quire such warn­ings if its Board of Su­per­vi­sors gives a sec­ond ap­proval and the mayor al­lows it to go into ef­fect.

Ef­forts for a statewide warn­ing failed this year, as did a city bal­lot mea­sure last year to im­pose a tax on sug­ary drinks.

The drink la­bels would read: “WARN­ING: Drink­ing bev­er­ages with added sugar(s) con­trib­utes to obe­sity, di­a­betes, and tooth de­cay. This is a mes­sage from the City and County of San Fran­cisco.”

The or­di­nance de­fines sugar-sweet­ened bev­er­ages as drinks with more than 25 calo­ries from sweet­en­ers per 12 ounces. The pro­posal would re­quire the warn­ing on print ad­ver­tis­ing within city lim­its—bill­boards, walls, taxis and buses. It would not ap­ply to ads ap­pear­ing in news­pa­pers and cir­cu­lars, or on broad­cast out­lets and the In­ter­net.

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