NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Could a can of soda be treated like a pack of cigarettes? If one New York State lawmaker gets his way all sugary drinks will come with health warning labels.

As CBS2’s Matt Kozar reported, the bill was introduced by Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz (D-The Bronx).

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“The legislation is educational. It doesn’t tell people they can’t drink. It doesn’t tell people how much they can drink of the sugary drink,” Dinowitz said.

Dinowitz faces an uphill battle.

Similar legislation did not pass, and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg made an unsuccessful attempt to ban sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces.

The American Beverage Association opposes the bill.

“Obesity and diabetes are far more complicated than a warning label. We are working to reduce calories consumed per person by 20 percent,” the Association said in a statement.

They want to achieve that in the next decade.

Public opinion on the warning labels is split.

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“I don’t think it’s going to make that much of a difference,” one man said.

“Oh absolutely. I think it will help,” another offered.

Nutritionists said it’s okay to have drinks with natural sugars like freshly squeezed orange juice, but buying something with added or refined sugars from the vending machine is not a good idea.

Dietician Keri Glassman said the warning labels could be a good reminder for parents.

“I think it’s going to make those people who thought to themselves, ‘Oh it’s just a little extra sugar. We just give it to them as a treat. They’re not gulping it down all day long.’ I think it may get those parents to think twice,” Glassman said.

The assemblyman said obesity accounts for $147 billion in health care nationwide.


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