Saturday, July 16, 2005

Soft drink warning labels?

Jack from Fork and Bottle writes us to point out that conventional news coverage generally requires nearly equal space for public interest group suggestions and the industry response. One side claims sugary soda is unhealthy, and the other side claims you should let your kids get 15 percent of their total daily calories from sugary soda (I'm not making this up -- that's the average daily calories from soda among teens who drink soft drinks). The matter is disputed and who knows what to believe? I enjoyed reading the actual text of the Center for Science in the Public Interest's recently proposed labels:
  • The U.S. Government recommends that you drink less (non-diet) soda to help prevent weight gain, tooth decay, and other health problems.
  • To help protect your waistline and your teeth, consider drinking diet sodas or water.
  • Drinking soft drinks instead of milk or calcium-fortified beverages may increase your risk of brittle bones (osteoporosis).
  • CSPI also said that caffeinated drinks should bear a notice that reads "This drink contains x grams of caffeine, which is a mildly addictive stimulant drug. Not appropriate for children."
Incidently, the ubiquitous industry response line in the Reuters coverage argues that individuals, not the government, should be allowed to make decisions about food and beverage consumption. Nice slight of hand, eh? The proposal was for truthful warning labels, not food police.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Its a fact that diet drinks also cause obesity, in fact they are a big source of weight gain. Soda is soda, and whether they are diet or not, they will ultimately be unhealthy. however, they are not the only unhealthy source as far as consumptions go. Overall, I believe that regular sodas should just be placed back. Students and parents should be who decide whether they want the "health" of a diet soda, or just a regular. Not like they're not one in the same...just one says "diet" and is portrayed to be research. It's not.