July 13, 2005
People who drink a lot of soda might soon be taking a second look at their containers. One national organization is trying to add warning labels. It's often referred to as liquid candy, and it's the single biggest source of calories in the American diet.
"It is so heavily consumed it's the quintessential junk food," says Michael Jacobson, Executive Director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). "It's all calories, no nutrients."
According to a new study by the CSPI, teens are drinking three times as many soft drinks as milk.
"It's available, and it's good," says avid soda drinker Austin Fisher. "Better than water in my taste."
"It's always cold, and it's easy to grab, so they grab it, and they pop it and drink it," says Grant Fisher, Austin's Father. Folks at CSPI are now calling for warning labels on sodas, something many doubt will solve any problems by itself.
In a prepared statement, the American Beverage Association stated:
"Obesity and diabetes are serious health problems that need and deserve meaningful and effective interventions, not shallow solutions and scapegoats."
Local dentists are a little skeptical of the warning labels as well.
"They put warning labels on cigarettes, and there are still a lot of people smoking," says General Dentist D.J. Bickers. "It's going to take the public the social pressure [to get] people to stop drinking sodas like they did with cigarettes."
The CSPI is also suggesting caffeinated drinks come with warning labels stating it can be a mildly addictive drug and is not appropriate for children.
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