Media Contact: Juliet Sims, email@example.com; 510-444-7738
On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to require warning labels on soda advertisements, ban soda advertisements on city property, and bar the city from spending money on soda. These policies come on the heels of the Davis City Council’s unanimous May 29 vote to approve an ordinance making milk and water the default beverage options for kids’ meals.
“We applaud these local leaders for standing up for health,” said Larry Cohen, executive director and founder of Prevention Institute. “It takes leadership and bravery to oppose the beverage industry, and it’s critical to do so because it saves lives as well as much-needed healthcare resources. At Prevention Institute we’ve been banning soda purchases for years through our organizational food policy.”
Innovative local and organizational policies reflect growing awareness of the health hazards posed by soda and other sugary drinks and represent bold efforts to protect community health from a predatory industry. The victories we celebrate this week in San Francisco and Davis build on years of community organizing and policy advocacy. Last October, a majority of San Francisco and Berkeley voters said “yes” to soda taxes (though the San Francisco proposal didn’t meet the required two-thirds majority to pass) and Berkeley collected its first soda tax revenues this May, generating $116,000 to fund community health initiatives.
“The soda industry pours millions of dollars into lobbying and public misinformation campaigns to protect its revenues and its ability to market its harmful products, often directly to kids,” said Juliet Sims, MPH, a program manager at Prevention Institute. “As a registered dietitian and public health advocate, I know quite well the toll that sugar-sweetened beverages have taken, driving an epidemic of diabetes and chronic disease, soaring health care costs, and suffering.”
Communities are the experts on the health challenges they face, and we see communities proposing solutions and changing the conversation on sugary drinks. These local successes are generating momentum in California and across the country, and point the way towards future state and national policies that prevent chronic disease and promote health.
Prevention Institute is an Oakland, California-based nonprofit research, policy, and action center that works nationally to promote prevention, health, and equity by fostering community and policy change so that all people live in healthy, safe environments.