Nation's Leading Public Health Researchers, Scientists Endorse California, New York Sugar Drink Warning Label Bills


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. 
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 
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 
Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology 
University of Washington 

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. 
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 
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

Contact Info: 

Contact Jeff Cronin (jcronin[at] or Ariana Stone (astone[at]