Should Soda Have A Warning Label?

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Cigarettes can't be sold without a cautionary message from the Surgeon General. Alcoholic beverages must be accompanied by a label outlining their health risks. Now soda may be joining this group of products with warnings attached — or at least in the state of California.

With nearly 40 percent of California’s youth obese or overweight, state legislators are taking action. In an effort to curb obesity, the California Senate passed a bill which would require sugary beverages to carry a warning label about potential health risks, including obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. The bill now heads to the California State Assembly, who must act on it by August.

If turned into law, the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act would require a warning label on any non-alcoholic sugary beverages that contain 75 calories or more per 12-fluid-ounce serving. This excludes 100-percent fruit juices or any beverage whose main ingredient is milk.

Back in January, Choices looked at the scary effects of sugary beverages in our "Soda Shock" story. From their teeth to their livers, soda is definitely detrimental to teens' health. Luckily, there are ways to curb kids' soda habits. For example, encourage them to drink flavored water for at least one meal. Another interesting route is peer pressure! Don't believe it? Just check out this past TeenBeing post.

This isn’t the first time a state took a stance against soft drinks. In 2013, former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, tried ordering a ban on sodas larger than 16 ounces to help fight obesity. A judge struck down the ban, ruling that it wasn’t in the mayor’s authority.

Do you think a soda warning is necessary, or does it overstep the government’s role? Will it help curb teens’ soda habit? Share your opinion in the comments!