When we think of health warning labels, cigarettes are the product that instantly springs to mind. However, a state lawmaker in California and medical experts have come together in the US state to back a proposal demanding sugary drinks carry a similar warning.
With an obesity epidemic blighting western nations, science has not only linked the consumption of fizzy drinks to weight problems, but also a range of other health concerns.
For example, research from Brigham and Women's Hospital published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology found that drinks sweetened with sugar are associated with a higher risk of kidney stone formation.
Meanwhile, a case study appearing in General Dentistry - the clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry - found that fizzy drinks can do the same amount of damage to teeth as methamphetamine and crack cocaine use. This is because the drinks erode tooth enamel, which can leave teeth at a greater risk of cavities, sensitivity, cracks and discolouration.
State senator Bill Monning and experts also explained how such beverages were linked to type 2 diabetes - another serious health problem for modern society.
"When the science is this conclusive, the state of California has a responsibility to take steps to protect consumers," Mr Monning commented. "As with tobacco and alcohol warnings, this legislation will give Californians essential information they need to make healthier choices."
Dr Harold Goldstein from the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, which is sponsoring the bill, added: "When any product causes this much harm, it is time to take action."
The proposal calls for all drinks that boast 75 or more calories per 12 ounces to come with a warning label that would read: "STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay." The wording was devised by a panel of both nutrition and public health experts.
As well as cans and bottles sold in shops, drinks dispensers in restaurants, cinemas and businesses would also be obliged to display the same message.
Here at Fine Cut, we understand just how impactful a message on a label can be - whether it's a medical warning, a health and safety message or instructions for usage. If you need advice devising a label that will display a clear and effective message, our dedicated team has the expertise and resources to help you to reach your objectives.