Sugary Drinks

Regulating the Way the Beverage Industry Sells and Promotes Sugar Laden Products

Telling the Bitter Truth About Sugary Drinks


When we began, people drank soda like it was water, unaware of its harms. Our decades-long campaign led the nation, with startling research findings, bold policy reforms, and community outrage. Soda consumption is down, policies have changed, and we’ve ignited a worldwide movement to tax sugary drinks. Still, our work is not done.

Data and Research

Drinking one soda per day increases the risk of being overweight by 27%.

Teens—especially teens of color—were drinking ever more sugar. That’s because the beverage industry’s target marketing works.

69% of voters support soda taxes; 78% support warning labels.

This bar graph depicts the percent of adolescents (ages 12-17) that drink one or more sugar-sweetened beverages per day, by ethnicity.

Media Advocacy

Time and again, state and local media published stories - often on the front page - about our research findings, including calls from local residents in support of policy reforms.

Community Mobilization

We helped residents all over California enact groundbreaking local policies, including soda taxes in Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco.

Partnership Building

We helped form coalitions of hundreds of health organizations, community organizations, unions, and local governments, all of whom supported the state legislation regulating the beverage industry.

Policymaker Education

Fact sheets showcased research findings and polling, shedding light on the industry's ongoing fabrications and manipulation.

Constituents visited, called, and wrote letters to hold their representatives accountable.

Policy Changes

Sugary drinks out of CA K-12 schools.

Milk and water as default beverage options in restaurant kids meals.

Introduction of multiple statewide soda tax bills.

Introduction of multiple sugary drink warning label bills.


Our leadership in California helped stimulate a worldwide movement to regulate sugary beverages, including a worldwide movement to tax sugary drinks.

Sugary drinks taxes have been enacted in all of the following places and more ...

  • Beyond California: Boulder, CO; Cook County, IL; Philadelphia, PA.
  • Around the world: Chile, Mexico, Philippines, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and the UK.

Learn More

The full case study is still in progress. Check back soon to explore how we took on Big Soda.