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California Bill Seeks Warnings On Sugary Drinks

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CBS/AP) — California would become the first state to require warning labels on sodas and other sugary drinks under a proposal in the state Legislature.

Democratic Sen. William Monning has the support of several medical groups for the bill he announced Thursday.

CBS13 spoke to Monning today, who says it’s not just what’s on the inside that’s killing our children, but what’s not on the outside.

“Consumer warning labels…placed on sweetened beverages,” said Sen. Monning.

Monning’s new bill called “The Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Warning Act” wants labels resembling those on cigarettes, placed on every soda bottle, can, vending machine and dispenser, warning families about the dangers of obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.

“The science is even more compelling,” said Dr. Harold Goldstein with the California Center for Public Advocacy.

According to the website SodaWarningLabel.org, children drinking just one soda a day increase their chances of obesity by 55 percent and increase their chances of dying from a heart attack later in life by 30 percent. It also increases the child’s likelihood of developing type-two diabetes.

“I don’t think it’ll matter. I think soda will always sell,” said David Hunter at Taylor Grocery Store.

But those who drink and sell the popular products believe the senator’s effort is a losing battle. The beverage industry is a marketing machine.

“Soda has taken marketing to the next level. Everyone will [drink] sports drinks. They are going to market it toward adults, towards kids,” said Hunter.

“It’s hard sometimes to break that cycle of change,” said Dr. Ashy Wolfe.

Those supporting the bill say it’s all about families starting the conversation, “to carefully think about the choices they are making,” says Wolfe.

“We see it as a critical warning tool to provoke conversation of strategies of education,” says Monning

The senator also tells CBS13 he understands this is going to be an uphill battle.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or Redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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