Tag Archives SSBs

An en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has held that a district court abused its discretion by denying the American Beverage Association and the California Retailers Association a preliminary injunction that would prevent San Francisco’s ordinance regulating advertisements for sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) from taking effect. Am. Beverage Ass’n v. City & Cty. Of San Francisco, No. 16-16072 (9th Cir., entered January 31, 2019). The court found that the amount of space required for the mandatory health disclosure on SSB ads—20 percent—“is not justified and is unduly burdensome when balanced against its likely burden on protected speech.” The Supreme Court “made clear… that a government-compelled disclosure that imposes an undue burden fails for that reason alone,” the Ninth Circuit stated, before noting that the “remaining factors of the preliminary injunction test also favor an injunction. Because Plaintiffs have a colorable First Amendment claim, they have demonstrated that…

The United Kingdom has launched a public consultation on a proposal to restrict some types of advertising for foods high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS). The consultation targets "volume-based price promotions of HFSS food and drink that encourage people to buy more than they need, for example, ‘buy one, get one free’ and free refills of sugary soft drinks" as well as ads placed at "main selling locations in stores, such as checkouts, aisle ends and store entrances." The government further seeks input on "which businesses, products and types of promotions should be included in the restrictions," "definitions for HFSS products, price promotions and locations in stores" and "how businesses can put this into practice and whether they will face any difficulties."

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed the Keep Groceries Affordable Act, a statute preventing local agencies in the state from imposing taxes or fees on groceries, including "carbonated and noncarbonated nonalcoholic beverages," until January 1, 2031. The law, which exempts taxes that do not specifically refer to groceries as a target classification, also invalidates any "tax, fee, or other assessment on groceries imposed by a local agency after January 1, 2018," but will not invalidate taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages in San Francisco and Berkeley.

Ireland’s tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) will take effect May 1, 2018, following a European Commission finding that the tax does not constitute state aid. According to a press release, "The Commission in its assessment found that soft drinks can be treated differently to other sugary products in view of health objectives. For example, the Commission took into account the fact that soft drinks are the main source of calories devoid of any nutritional value and thereby raise particular health issues. Furthermore, soft drinks are particularly liable to lead to overconsumption and represent a higher risk of obesity, also compared to other sugary drinks and solid food. On this basis, the Commission concluded that the scope of the Irish sugar sweetened drinks tax and its overall design are consistent with the health objectives pursued and does not unduly distort competition."

Researchers in France and Brazil have concluded that a 10 percent increase in the consumption of ultra-processed foods is associated with a "significant increase of greater than 10% in risks of overall and breast cancer." Thibault Fiolet, et al., "Consumption of ultra-processed food and cancer risks: results from NutriNet-Santé prospective cohort," BMJ, February 14, 2018. The study, which involved surveying records of more than 100,000 participants, asserts that ultra-processed fats and sauces along with sugary products and drinks were associated with an increased risk of overall cancer, while ultra-processed sugary products were also associated with a higher risk of breast cancer. The researchers hypothesized that the findings were caused by the "generally poorer nutritional quality of diets rich in ultra-processed foods," the wide range of additives used, and heat-related processing and preparation that produce neoformed contaminants such as acrylamide.

A study from the Department of Epidemiology at Boston University’s School of Public Health has concluded that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) may reduce fertility in both males and females. Elizabeth E. Hatch, et al., “Intake of Sugar-sweetened Beverages and Fecundability in a North American Preconception Cohort,” Epidemiology. Researchers studied 3,828 women and 1,045 of their male partners for up to 12 menstrual cycles in the four-year study. Women who drank at least one SSB per day reportedly had a 25 percent lower monthly probability of conception, while men who drank at least one SSB per day reportedly showed a 33 percent lower probability of successful conception. The study did not purport to find an association between lowered fertility and the consumption of diet sodas or fruit juices.

A new study has suggested that sugar-sweetened beverages may raise the risk of gout in women. Hyon Choi, et al., “Fructose-Rich Beverages and Risk of Gout in Women,” The Journal of the American Medical Association, November 10, 2010. Boston University and Harvard researchers examined data on nearly 79,000 U.S. women with no history of gout who participated in the 22-year Nurses’ Health Study. Compared to women who drank less than one serving of sugary beverages or orange juice per month, the study found that women who drank (i) one serving of sweetened soft drink per day had a 74 percent increased risk of gout, (ii) at least two servings of sweetened soft drinks per day had more than double the risk of gout; (iii) one serving of orange juice per day were 41 percent more likely to develop gout; and (iv) two or more glasses of orange juice per day had…

A new study reportedly claims that young people mistakenly view sugar-sweetened sports beverages as healthy alternatives to soft drinks. Nalini Ranjit, et al., “Dietary and Activity Correlates of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption Among Adolescents,” Pediatrics, September 27, 2010. University of Texas School of Public Health researchers surveyed 15,283 middle- and high-school students to determine the correlation between consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and flavored and sports beverages (FSBs) to diet and physical activity. According to the study, researchers discovered that more than 60 percent of boys and more than 50 percent of girls drank at least one soda, sports drink or other sweetened beverage like fruit punch each day, which could lead to yearly weight gain. Students active in sports and other physical activities consumed more sports drinks while those who led more sedentary lifestyles drank more soda. “The most likely explanation for these findings is that FSBs have been successfully marketed as…

The Florida Board of Education is reportedly considering a ban on chocolate milk and sugary beverages in the state’s public schools. Board members evidently tabled the issue last spring in anticipation of federal government action, but recently decided to move forward to hear opinions from physicians and researchers on whether such a ban would improve children’s health. Hearings will be held over the next two months, with possible legislation coming in December. “When you think about it, we probably have a million overweight or obese children in our schools,” board member John Padget was quoted as saying. “I think the clock is ticking in terms of personal health.” Board member Susan Story reportedly wants the board to consider a possible ban on other foods sold in schools, including chips and ice cream. “To me, it’s a bigger issue that needs to be looked at and not a chocolate milk-versus-white milk…

Boston city officials are reportedly considering a move to prohibit or restrict sugar-sweetened beverages sold on city-owned property as a way of combating obesity. The city, which has already prohibited smoking in restaurants and bars and trans fat in fast food restaurants and bakeries, recently convened health, education and housing leaders to develop a policy to reduce sugary beverage consumption. While such a policy has yet to be officially drafted, Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission, told a news source that such a move seemed inevitable based on the city’s earlier promise to fight obesity by decreasing sweetened soda consumption through “counter-advertising and policy change.” Ferrer was quoted as saying that she expects public resistance to the potential ban because people view soft drinks differently from tobacco. “I think we’re going to run into a big issue of people saying, ‘Why would you take away our…

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