Consumers in the U.S. are starting to demand more information from the products they buy at the grocery store. They want to know where their food and drink comes from, who handled it, what processes were used along the way to keep it safe, and all of the ingredients. These consumers are pushing for reforms in labeling to make this information available. Consumers also want health warnings on ads for specific foods. San Francisco is leading the movement with their new mandatory health warnings.
In the middle of June 2014, law makers in San Francisco unanimously approved a move for health warnings on all ads for sugary beverages, specifically sodas. The health warnings are required to state that these sugary drinks contribute to diabetes, obesity, tooth decay, and other health problems. San Francisco is the first city in the U.S. to push for these health warnings. However, the new ordinance still needs approval from the mayor. Other cities and states will most likely follow with the reforms.
The health warning is not required on ads for all beverages; only the ones that have more than 25 calories from sugar per 12 ounces. So, beverages like Coca-Cola Zero do not require the health warning on their ads. Beverages besides sodas are affected by the new ordinance. Health warnings are required on energy drinks, sports drinks, and vitamin waters that go over the 25 calorie limit. The only beverages that are exempt are milk and 100 percent natural vegetable and fruit juices.
Requiring health warnings on sugary drink ads will probably lead towards labeling reform, too. These health warnings could eventually be required on the packaging. The U.S. is starting to push for healthier food, and lableing is one of the major ways that they are doing it.