Sugary Drink Warning Labels Bill

BALTIMORE CITY LEGISLATION

Recommended Position: SUPPORT

What would this bill do?

This bill would require warning labels for sugar sugar-sweetened beverages in advertisements, restaurant menus and any city stores that sell those products in the City of Baltimore. If passed, Baltimore City would become the second jurisdiction in the country to issue this warning. The label reads “WARNING: DRINKING BEVERAGES WITH ADDED SUGAR(S) CONTRIBUTES TO TOOTH DECAY, OBESITY, AND DIABETES. THIS MESSAGE IS FROM THE BALTIMORE CITY HEALTH DEPARTMENT.”

Why is this bill necessary?

  • Most consumers have no idea how harmful sugar-sweetened beverages really are. Warning labels would educate the consumer on the damaging effects it can cause.
  • Overwhelming science shows that liquid sugar (SSBs) is a unique driver in today’s skyrocketing diabetes epidemic.
  • The leading contributors to diabetes in the world disease are sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Overwhelming the liver with sugar, results in converting it into fat.
  • Baltimoreans have a right to know what is going into their bodies before purchasing and/or consuming sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Sugar is habit-forming and can lead to addictive behavior in relation to your diet.

Maryland Healthy Vending Act

State Legislation

Recommended Position: SUPPORT

What would this bill do?

This bill would make healthier food and drinks more widely available in vending machines located on state property like state office buildings, parks, recreation centers, hospitals and universities.

Why is this bill necessary?

  • Healthier options create more supportive food environments for government employees, visitors to public property, participants in government-sponsored programs and people in government institutional environments.
  • Studies show a strong relationship between physical and social environment of the workplace and the health behaviors of employees.
  • State government is a large purchaser of food. Directing its food dollars towards healthful options drives demand for healthier products and spurs companies to reformulate their products.
  • Offering healthier options in public places could decrease the economic burden of obesity and diet-related chronic diseases, which cost $190 billion a year – half of that is paid by taxpayers through Medicaid and Medicare.
  • Our state’s competitiveness is reduced when diet-related diseases reduce working aged-adults.

Child Care Centers – Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Act

Statewide

Passed

What does this bill do?

Requires licensed childcare facilities in Maryland to serve healthier drinks, make water freely available, have a trained staff member on site who can support breastfeeding mothers, and reduce non-educational screen time (e.g., time watching television or playing computer games) for children in their care.