In a letter to the FDA, organizations including the American Public Health Association, the California Center for Public Health Advocacy and The New York State Department of Health urged for mandatory warning labeling on sugar or corn syrup sweetened soda products in the same way cigarette warning labels alert consumers to the risks associated with their products.
Because of the increasing number of servings of sodas and other sweetened soft drinks people are consuming, correlating health problems — mainly diabetes and obesity — have been on the rise for the last several decades.
Research provided to the FDA concludes that some teenagers — primary targets for soda companies — can receive more than ten percent of their recommended daily caloric intake from soda consumption. And an alarming number of toddlers ages 1 to 2 — nearly 20 percent! — drink almost a can of sweetened soda per day.
Manufacturer Coca-Cola is the world's largest soft drink company, selling more than 1.3 billion servings of product each day, including their natural juice and water offerings alongside top selling soda products.
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Though some products have been returning to natural sugar instead of the widely used high fructose corn syrup, a serving of soda can contain over 30 grams of sugar. Excessive sugar disrupts the body's pancreatic function, which can lead to Type II Diabetes, once called "Adult Onset Diabetes" because it typically only affected people after they reached adulthood. With the increase of soda products including vending machines long available in public school systems, cases of diabetes began affecting people younger and younger.
According the Centers for Disease Control, African American and non-Hispanic white children are most at risk for developing diabetes, and those diagnosed are also prone to suffer from episodic depression.
The letter to the FDA urges action, "In light of the overwhelming evidence linking soft drinks to serious diseases, consumers deserve to know — and soft drink labels should disclose — those health risks."
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Photo by Omer Wazir courtesy of Creative Commons