This bill would require that health warning labels be placed on beverages sold in California that contain added sweeteners and at least 75 calories per 12 ounces.
AAP Positional Letter
June 21, 2018
Senator Richard Pan
Chair, Senate Health Committee
State Capitol Room 2191
RE: AB 1335 (Bonta) Sugar-sweetened beverages: health warnings
AAP-CA Position: SUPPORT
Dear Dr. Pan:
I am writing on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, to let you know that we strongly support the proposed legislation AB 1335 (Bonta)). This bill would require that health warning labels be placed on beverages sold in California that contain added sweeteners and at least 75 calories per 12 ounces.
Multiple studies have clearly demonstrated that consumption of sugary soft drinks is associated with marked increases in occurrence of obesity, type 2 diabetes, tooth decay, and other negative health outcomes. It is for this reason that California legislators banned the sale of soda on school campuses. However, school site soda consumption is of course only one source of sugar-sweetened beverages, and it is important that both parents and their children are made aware of the risks of consuming these drinks so that they may make well-informed decisions about their health. As noted in AAP policy, “As much as 40% of the daily energy consumed by 2- to 18-year-olds is in the form of ‘empty calories’ (energy-dense, nutrient-poor), most of it consumed away from school”—and much of it in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages, of which 65% of California youth between the ages of 12 and 17 consume at least one per day. Many of these children will go on to suffer from poor health for much of their lives as a result of their elevated consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.
AB 1335 would help assure that parents and children are properly informed about the risks of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages, including those that are designed to appear to be healthy choices (including some sports drinks, sweetened fruit beverages, and flavored water drinks). This would help to reduce childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes, and tooth decay, and would contribute to Californians’ long-term health.
Pediatricians across the state support AB 1335 (Bonta). We thank you for your leadership on behalf of the health and well-being of children, youth, and families in California.
Nancy Graff, M.D., Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
State Government Affairs Committee, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
CC: Kris Calvin, CEO; AAP-CA Leadership; Lydia Bourne