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

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 to support of policy reforms.

Community Mobilization

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

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

We showcased research findings and polling, shedding light on the soda industry's ongoing fabrications and manipulation. Through KICK THE CAN, a statewide campaign, we raised awareness about the role sugar-sweetened beverages play in the obesity and diabetes epidemics and stimulated local and state policy development to drive down sweetened-beverage marketing, availability, and consumption. The campaign included a user-friendly website that served as the “go-to” site for advocates working on sugary drink policies across the country.

Policy Changes

Sugary drinks out of CA K-12 schools. (SB 677 and SB 965)

Milk and water as default beverage options in restaurant kids meals. (SB 1192)

Introduction of multiple statewide soda tax bills. (e.g., SB 1520)

Introduction of multiple sugary drink warning label bills. (e.g., SB 1000)


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.