Warning labels on soda, salty food gets mixed reaction - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Warning labels on soda, salty food gets mixed reaction


It's not just tobacco and alcohol anymore. Warning labels on food and drinks are popping up around the nation.

On Tuesday night, San Francisco's board of supervisors passed mandatory health warnings on posters and billboards that advertise sugary drinks.

In New York City, the health department proposed that all restaurant chains warn customers if a particular menu item is above the recommended daily limit of sodium.

Those in favor of the warnings say it's a way to encourage customers to make health food choices, but do customers pay attention to the warning labels or are they just background noise?

“Coke,” Tom Moore said.

“Mountain Dew is probably my favorite one,” Tarrington Marks said.

“My favorite soda is Pepsi,” Sumner Foster said.

When it comes to what we drink, many of us are set in our ways, but San Francisco leaders now require ads to tell exactly what soda can do to you.

The new warning label will read, “WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.”

While there are no known proposals like this here in the Heartland, Moore said if there were, he wouldn't welcome the warning.

“Freedom to make your own choices is great, it's what this county is founded on and I think we need to stick to it. It works,” Moore said.

Moore said the label wouldn't change his mind, but others like Marks say it'd help them make a more informed choice.

“It gives you the right to say well at least I know what's going to happen when I drink this,” Marks said.

It's not only soda that's not getting any slack. In New York, some people want salt warnings on menus at chain restaurants, letting the customer know if the meal has more than the recommended 2,300 milligrams of sodium.

“I would go for something that has less salt,” Dawn Desa said.

A mother of four, Desa said she likes knowing exactly what is in her children's food.

“It's hard now. I mean if you're not eating natural foods like fruits and vegetables, you don't really know what's in it,” Desa said.

So, whether we heed the warnings or not, many say knowing more about your food is better than knowing less.

“Wouldn't change my mind at all,” Moore said.

“It makes a difference,” Desa said.

Tobacco products require warning labels like these already. However, a former smoker said she quit because she knew it was bad for her, not because the warning said so. She said she never really paid attention to the label.

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