Nation's Leading Public Health Researchers, Scientists Endorse California, New York Sugar Drink Warning Label Bills

April 8, 2015

Leading public health scientists and researchers today announced their support for bills in California and New York to require warning labels on soda and other sugar drinks to inform consumers of the risk of diabetes, obesity, and tooth decay from excessive consumption.

Organized by the nonprofits Center for Science in the Public Interest and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, the group includes many scientists who have conducted or analyzed the current scientific evidence on soda-related diseases. In 2005 CSPI called on the Food and Drug Administration to require similar health messages on sugar drinks.

"Given the federal government's failure to act, it's important that states protect their consumers by giving them this information in a clear, inexpensive way so that adults and children alike could make truly informed choices," said CSPI's executive director Michael F. Jacobson. "Soda and sugar drinks promote expensive and debilitating diseases, but unlike most other foods or beverages, have no redeeming nutritional qualities."

"Parents may know that drinking soda is not as healthy as eating broccoli, but they don't know that sugary drinks, like sports drinks and sweetened teas, may be making their children sick. It's time to post warnings on the front of the bottle," said CCPHA executive director Harold Goldstein.

In California, the legislation authored by state Sen. William Monning (D-Carmel) calls for a label that reads "STATE OF CALIFORNIA WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contribute to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay."

In New York, the legislation sponsored by state Assembly Member Jeff Dinowitz (D-Bronx) calls for a label that reads "SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contribute to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay."

The 34 scientists (with titles and affiliations listed for identification only) endorsing the letter include:

Lawrence J. Appel, M.D., M.P.H.
C. David Molina, M.D., M.P.H. Professor of Medicine
Epidemiology and International Health
Director, Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

George A. Bray, M.D.
Boyd Professor Emeritus
Louisiana State University

William H. Dietz, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness
Milken Institute School of Public Health
George Washington University

Jared I. Fine, D.D.S., M.P.H.
Public Health Dentist
Board of Directors, Alameda County Dental Society
Co-chair Oral Health Committee
Alameda County Public Health Commission

Michael I. Goran, Ph.D.
Departments of Preventive Medicine, Physiology & Biophysics and Pediatrics
The Dr Robert C and Veronica Atkins Endowed Chair in Childhood Obesity and Diabetes
Director of the Childhood Obesity Research Center
Co-Director of the Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute
Keck School of Medicine
University of Southern California

Joan D. Gussow, M.Ed., Ed.D.
Professor Emerita
Teachers College
Columbia University

Rachel K. Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.
Robert L. Bickford Jr. Green and Gold Professor of Nutrition
Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences
The University of Vermont

David L. Katz, M.D., M.P.H., FACPM, FACP
President, American College of Lifestyle Medicine
Founding Director, Yale University Prevention Research Center

Francine R. Kaufman, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer and Vice President
Global Medical, Clinical & Health Affairs
Medtronic Diabetes
Distinguished Professor Emerita of Pediatrics and Communications at USC
The Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Steven M. Levy, D.D.S., M.P.H.
Wright-Bush-Shreves Professor of Research
Graduate Program Associate Director, Dental Public Health
Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry
College of Dentistry & Dental Clinics
Professor, Department of Epidemiology
College of Public Health
The University of Iowa

Kristine Madsen, M.D., M.P.H.
Associate Professor
Joint Medical Program and Public Health Nutrition
Division of Community Health and Human Development
University of California, Berkeley

Vasanti Malik, Sc.D.
Research Scientist
Department of Nutrition
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

JoAnn E. Manson, M.D., Dr.P.H.
Chief, Division of Preventive Medicine
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Professor of Medicine and the Michael and Lee Bell
Professor of Women's Health
Harvard Medical School
Professor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

William J. McCarthy, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor
Department of Health Policy and Management, Fielding School of Public Health
Department of Psychology
University of California Los Angeles

John P. McGahan, M.D., FACR
Department of Radiology
University of California
School of Medicine

Barbara J. Moore, Ph.D., FTOS
President and CEO, Shape Up America!

Anisha Patel, M.D., M.S.P.H., M.S.H.S.
Assistant Professor
Division of General Pediatrics
Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies
University of California, San Francisco

John D. Potter, M.D., Ph.D.
Member and Senior Advisor
Division of Public Health Sciences
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology
University of Washington

Goutham Rao, M.D.
Vice Chair, Department of Family Medicine
NorthShore/University of Chicago
Clinical Associate Professor
University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

Bill Reger-Nash, Ed.D.
Professor Emeritus, West Virginia University School of Public Health
Associate Chair, Morgantown Pedestrian Safety Board

Eric Rimm, Sc.D.
Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition
Director, Program in Cardiovascular Epidemiology
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Thomas N. Robinson, M.D., M.P.H.
Irving Schulman, MD Endowed Professor in Child Health
Professor of Pediatrics and of Medicine
Director, Center for Healthy Weight
Stanford University and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford

Frank M. Sacks, M.D.
Professor of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention
Department of Nutrition
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Channing Division of Network Medicine

James D. Sargent, M.D.
Professor of Pediatrics
Professor of Community and Family Medicine
Professor of The Dartmouth Institute
Co-Director, Cancer Control Research Program, Norri Cotton Cancer Center
Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

Stuart O. Schweitzer, Ph.D.
Health Policy and Management
Department of Health Sciences
Fielding School of Public Health
University of California, Los Angeles

Jeremiah Stamler, M.D.
Professor Emeritus, Preventive Medicine-Epidemiology
Department of Preventive Medicine
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Meir Stampfer, M.D., Dr.P.H.
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Associate Director, Channing Division of Network Medicine
Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital

Lyn M. Steffen, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.
Associate Professor, Epidemiology & Community Health
University of Minnesota School of Public Health

Mary Story, Ph.D., R.D.
Professor of Global Health and Community and Family Medicine
Duke University

Y. Claire Wang, M.D., Sc.D.
Associate Professor, Health Policy & Management
Co-Director, Obesity Prevention Initiative
Mailman School of Public Health
Columbia University

Bernard Weiss, Ph.D.
Professor of Environmental Medicine
University of Rochester
School of Medicine and Dentistry

Walter C. Willett, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H.
Frederick John Stare Professor and Department Chair
Department of Nutrition
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Professor, Department of Medicine
Harvard Medical School

Sophia Yen, M.D., M.P.H.
Obesity Specialist
Stanford Children's Health
Assistant Professor
Stanford Medical School

Lisa R. Young, Ph.D., R.D.
Adjunct Professor
Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health
New York University


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