California's diabetes and obesity epidemics are taking an enormous toll on public health and driving up healthcare costs. 

Scientific research shows that soda and other sugary drinks are the single largest contributors to the obesity epidemic. Furthermore, liquid sugar has a unique role in adding to skyrocketing type 2 diabetes rates in our state. 

Consumers have a right to know about the unique health problems associated with soda and other sugary drinks. That is why Public Health Advocates (formerly CCPHA) proudly sponsored the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act in 2014 (SB 1000) and in 2015-2016 (SB 203). This policy offered a common sense approach to combat this growing health crisis. It required warning labels be placed on sugary drink containers and dispensers to let consumers know vital information about the health dangers related to what they drink—affording Californians a chance to make informed choices about what they purchase. 

Field Poll and Warning Label Effectiveness Study
Nearly four out of five registered California voters (78 percent) want warning labels on sugary drinks, up from 74 percent in 2014, according to a January 2016 Field Poll. Supporters overwhelmingly cited their belief in a consumer’s right to know and the fact that warning labels serve as a strong tool for promoting personal responsibility. The poll – available here – also found that most Californians are unable to quickly identify healthy and unhealthy beverages without the help of a warning label. 

According to a new study in Pediatrics, sugary drink warning labels work. The study surveyed 2,000+ parents and found a marked decrease in sugary drink purchases when warning labels were displayed – three times the decrease found with the beverage industry’s voluntary “Clear on Calories” labels. A fact sheet and press release on the study is available here.

The California Senate Health Committee failed to take action to push SB203 forward in January 2016. The bill is no longer active.

Below are resources outlining further details of this groundbreaking piece of legislation (best printed using Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer):

Final 2015 Press Release on SB 203

SB 203 Fact Sheet (English)
SB 203 Fact Sheet (Spanish)
SB 203 Science Facts (English)
SB 203 Science Facts (Spanish)
SB 203 Scientific Panel
SB 203 Co-Sponsors
List of Support 

Bill Language - As Introduced
Initial Press Release 
Full SB 203 Press Kit 
SB 203 Spokespersons 

Soda 2-Liter with Warning Label
Soda Can with Warning Label
Warning Label Text

For Advocates:
Sample Letter of Organizational Support to Senator Monning
Sample County Support Resolution (Word version)
Sample City Support Resolution (Word version)
Sample School Board Support Resolution (Word version) 

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