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TC's Joan Gussow Among Researchers, Scientists to Endorse Sugar Drink Warning Label Bills

The following article originally appeared in the EINNewsDesk on April 8, 2015.

Leading public health scientists and researchers today announced their support for bills in California and New York to require warning labels on soda and other sugar drinks to inform consumers of the risk of diabetes, obesity, and tooth decay from excessive consumption.

Organized by the nonprofits Center for Science in the Public Interest and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, the group includes many scientists who have conducted or analyzed the current scientific evidence on soda-related diseases. In 2005 CSPI called on the Food and Drug Administration to require similar health messages on sugar drinks.

"Given the federal government's failure to act, it's important that states protect their consumers by giving them this information in a clear, inexpensive way so that adults and children alike could make truly informed choices," said CSPI's executive director Michael F. Jacobson. "Soda and sugar drinks promote expensive and debilitating diseases, but unlike most other foods or beverages, have no redeeming nutritional qualities."

"Parents may know that drinking soda is not as healthy as eating broccoli, but they don't know that sugary drinks, like sports drinks and sweetened teas, may be making their children sick. It's time to post warnings on the front of the bottle," said CCPHA executive director Harold Goldstein.

In California, the legislation authored by state Sen. William Monning (D-Carmel) calls for a label that reads "STATE OF CALIFORNIA WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contribute to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay."

In New York, the legislation sponsored by state Assembly Member Jeff Dinowitz (D-Bronx) calls for a label that reads "SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contribute to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay."

The 34 scientists (with titles and affiliations listed for identification only) endorsing the letter include:

Lawrence J. Appel, M.D., M.P.H
. C. David Molina, M.D., M.P.H. Professor of Medicine Epidemiology and International Health Director, Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

George A. Bray, M.D. Boyd Professor Emeritus Louisiana State University

William H. Dietz, M.D., Ph.D. Director, Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness Milken Institute School of Public Health George Washington University

Jared I. Fine, D.D.S., M.P.H. Public Health Dentist Board of Directors, Alameda County Dental Society Co-chair Oral Health Committee Alameda County Public Health Commission

Michael I. Goran, Ph.D. Professor Departments of Preventive Medicine, Physiology & Biophysics and Pediatrics The Dr Robert C and Veronica Atkins Endowed Chair in Childhood Obesity and Diabetes Director of the Childhood Obesity Research Center Co-Director of the Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute Keck School of Medicine University of Southern California

Joan D. Gussow, M.Ed., Ed.D. Professor Emerita Teachers College Columbia University

Rachel K. Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D. Robert L. Bickford Jr. Green and Gold Professor of Nutrition Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences The University of Vermont

David L. Katz, M.D., M.P.H., FACPM, FACP
President, American College of Lifestyle Medicine Founding Director, Yale University Prevention Research Center

Francine R. Kaufman, M.D. Chief Medical Officer and Vice President Global Medical, Clinical & Health Affairs Medtronic Diabetes Distinguished Professor Emerita of Pediatrics and Communications at USC The Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Steven M. Levy, D.D.S., M.P.H. Wright-Bush-Shreves Professor of Research Graduate Program Associate Director, Dental Public Health Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry College of Dentistry & Dental Clinics Professor, Department of Epidemiology College of Public Health The University of Iowa

Kristine Madsen, M.D., M.P.H. Associate Professor Joint Medical Program and Public Health Nutrition Division of Community Health and Human Development University of California, Berkeley

Vasanti Malik, Sc.D. Research Scientist Department of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

JoAnn E. Manson, M.D., Dr.P.H.
Chief, Division of Preventive Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital Professor of Medicine and the Michael and Lee Bell Professor of Women's Health Harvard Medical School Professor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

William J. McCarthy, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor Department of Health Policy and Management, Fielding School of Public Health Department of Psychology University of California Los Angeles

John P. McGahan, M.D., FACR
Professor Department of Radiology University of California School of Medicine

Barbara J. Moore, Ph.D., FTOS President and CEO, Shape Up America!

Anisha Patel, M.D., M.S.P.H., M.S.H.S. Assistant Professor Division of General Pediatrics Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies University of California, San Francisco

John D. Potter, M.D., Ph.D. Member and Senior Advisor Division of Public Health Sciences Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Seattle and Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology University of Washington Seattle

Goutham Rao, M.D. Vice Chair, Department of Family Medicine NorthShore/University of Chicago Clinical Associate Professor University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

Bill Reger-Nash, Ed.D.
Professor Emeritus, West Virginia University School of Public Health Associate Chair, Morgantown Pedestrian Safety Board

Eric Rimm, Sc.D. Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition Director, Program in Cardiovascular Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Thomas N. Robinson, M.D., M.P.H. Irving Schulman, MD Endowed Professor in Child Health Professor of Pediatrics and of Medicine Director, Center for Healthy Weight Stanford University and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford

Frank M. Sacks, M.D. Professor of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Department of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital Channing Division of Network Medicine

James D. Sargent, M.D.
Professor of Pediatrics Professor of Community and Family Medicine Professor of The Dartmouth Institute Co-Director, Cancer Control Research Program, Norri Cotton Cancer Center Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

Stuart O. Schweitzer, Ph.D. Professor Health Policy and Management Department of Health Sciences Fielding School of Public Health University of California, Los Angeles

Jeremiah Stamler, M.D. Professor Emeritus, Preventive Medicine-Epidemiology Department of Preventive Medicine Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Meir Stampfer, M.D., Dr.P.H.
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Associate Director, Channing Division of Network Medicine Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital

Lyn M. Steffen, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D. Associate Professor, Epidemiology & Community Health University of Minnesota School of Public Health

Mary Story, Ph.D., R.D. Professor of Global Health and Community and Family Medicine Duke University

Y. Claire Wang, M.D., Sc.D.
Associate Professor, Health Policy & Management Co-Director, Obesity Prevention Initiative Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University

Bernard Weiss, Ph.D.
Professor of Environmental Medicine University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

Walter C. Willett, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H
. Frederick John Stare Professor and Department Chair Department of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Professor, Department of Medicine Harvard Medical School

Sophia Yen, M.D., M.P.H.
Obesity Specialist Pediatrician Stanford Children's Health Assistant Professor Stanford Medical School

Lisa R. Young, Ph.D., R.D.
Adjunct Professor Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health New York University

Published Thursday, Apr. 9, 2015