Manufacturers of sugary foods and beverages could be forced to put warning labels on their products as, like cigarettes and alcohol, these are increasingly considered damaging to health.
Soft drinks, in particular, are blamed for a nationwide increase in obesity, diabetes, tooth decay and osteoporosis.
Michael Jacobson, director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) said,“Americans are drowning in soda pop – teenagers in particular. The average teenage boy is consuming two cans of soda pop a day. The US government’s dietary guidelines for Americans have urged people to consume less sweetened beverages, but the government doesn’t do anything.
Mr Jacobson believes much more should be done to warn consumers and has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration, asking for warning labels to be put on soft drinks containing more than 13 grams of refined sugar for each 12 ounces.
However, the American Beverage Association has reacted to the labelling proposal, claiming that the request for warning labels on soft drinks or any food products that contain caloric sweeteners, patronises consumers and lacks common sense. The association said:“Where would such a food hit list stop? Even skim milk and thousands of other food products could potentially fit into a CSPI labelling scheme because of sugars in these products.