City officials in San Francisco, Cali., want soda advertisements to carry a warning label like cigarette ads and are even proposing to ban them from publicly-owned areas.
The proposal, spearheaded by San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener, would require the warning labels take up at least 20% of the ad space for sodas and other sweetened drinks which have more than 25 calories per 12 oz.
The proposed warning label would state:
WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. This is a message from the City and County of San Francisco.
A similar proposal by supervisor Malia Cohen would ban soda ads from publicly-owned property such as parks and bus stations.
And another piece of legislation from supervisor Eric Mar would even prohibit city employees and contractors from using city funds to purchase soft drinks.
While there’s no doubt sodas sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup are unhealthy, the city is motivated not by health concerns but by the potential revenue generated from a proposed soda tax the city is conditioning the public for.
“There are discussions [regarding a soda tax] happening, but it’s too soon to say,” Wiener told Time Magazine.
Nearby Berkeley passed a soda tax last year.
If San Francisco is really that concerned about public health, the city would stop putting fluoride in the water, which a recent U.K. study linked to weight gain, fatigue and depression.
“After taking account of influential factors, such as gender and age, both of which are linked to increased risk of hypothyroidism, they found an association between rates of the condition and levels of fluoride in the drinking water,” a report regarding the study published by the University of Kent reads. “In areas with fluoride levels above 0.7mg/l, they found higher than expected rates of hypothyroidism than in areas with levels below this dilution.”