KANSAS CITY — California legislators on Feb. 20 introduced five bills intended to lower consumption of caloric sweetened drinks in the state and “aimed at protecting the health of Californians.”

California Senator Bill Monning introduced SB 347 that would require a warning label on the front of beverage containers with added sweeteners that have 75 or more calories per 12 oz, including fruit drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweet teas and sodas. The label would read: “STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) may contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay.”

The other bills included:

  • Assembly member Buffy Wicks introduced AB 765, “Healthy Checkout for Healthy Families” to limit the placement of sugary drinks near checkout counters;
  • Assembly member David Chiu introduced AB 766 to limit the portion size of sugary drinks to 16 oz;
  • Assembly member Rob Bonta introduced AB 764 to limit manufacturers’ coupons for sugary drinks;
  • Richard Bloom introduced AB 138 to implement a statewide excise tax on sugary drinks.

“When you have medical professionals, public health officials and an overwhelming body of science all pointing to sugary drinks as a leading contributor to the skyrocketing diabetes epidemic, California must take action,” said FloJaune Cofer, Ph.D., senior director of policy at Public Health Advocates, a co-sponsor of the legislation.