New Warning Labels on Soda Freak Parents Out -- but Will They Work on Kids?

soda in grocery store

Break out the bubbly! (Just make sure it's, um, champagne and not soda.) Today is a good day for health-conscious folk. That's because a new study has found that warning labels on sodas may steer parents away from buying the sugar-bloated drinks for their kiddos.


We won't pretend to like soda. It's like pouring diabetes straight down your throat. But hey, LOTS of people -- maybe even you -- love the stuff. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans drinks at least one soda (or pop, or Coke, whatever you call it in your part of the country) each day.

A typical 20-ounce soda has between 15–18 teaspoons of sugar and at least 240 calories. So ... maybe it's no surprise that 2 out of 3 American adults and 1 in 3 kids are overweight or obese.

That doesn't sound delicious or refreshing. It sounds downright dangerous.

Some states have already introduced bills requiring sodas -- or any sugar-sweetened beverage -- to display a cute li'l health warning on the label. And a new study in the February issue of Pediatrics took a look at just how effective those labels seem to be.

The breakdown? Sixty percent of parents were inclined to buy soda without a label. But with the label, only 40 percent shelled out money to buy their kiddo a sweetened beverage.

Does this remind you of when tobacco companies started putting warnings on cigarette packages? And all of a sudden, people were like, "Gross! Are these bad for me?" and stopped smoking so much. Same thing with soda, researchers found. The parents who participated in the study were more likely to question soda's healthfulness (spoiler alert: it has NONE) once they saw those labels.

More from The Stir: My Diet Soda Addiction Was Ruining My Life

And who's going to benefit the most if every state starts requiring sodas to carry warning labels? Kids. Because little kids aren't in a position to pick and choose what groceries come home from the store, or what their parents give them when they point to their sippy cups. And when we're not up to date on health research or we're struggling with unhealthy habits ourselves, our kids can suffer.

And not just by getting a cavity here and there, but by developing a lifelong habit that can lead to obesity, diabetes, and who knows what else. After all, if soda can effectively clean a toilet, you can only imagine what it's doing to your insides.

Are we advocating that you only let your kids have kombucha or beet-kale juice on special occasions? Of course not. But if you really must have one, at least just make your own soda.


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