For people who aren't aware of just how detrimental sugary drinks are to their health, or who think all of the media coverage is part of some nanny-state propaganda, a glaring in-your-face warning label may make them think twice before guzzling down 64oz of soda with lunch.
San Francisco wants to start the warning label trend
San Francisco is the first city to attempt a live test of warning labels on sugary drinks. The city proposed an ordinance in 2015 that would require any public advertising for sugary drinks to slap on a not-at-all subtle notice of: "Warning: drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay."
The American Beverage Association and other trade groups are fighting back, having secured a temporary delay in the implementation of the ordinance until an appeals court decides whether it's fair to make companies tell the public of the health risks their products carry.
Considering how effective warning labels are for cigarettes, they're likely to have a major impact on sugar-sweetened beverage sales. The companies themselves seem to think so, as evidenced by the legal battle they're waging in California: An industry that big wouldn't go through such a long, drawn-out process if it didn't think the city ordinance would have a negative impact on its business.