The American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association and Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) have joined cities nationwide in a new initiative designed “to reduce diet-related disease” by targeting sugarsweetened beverage consumption. Dubbed “Life’s Sweeter with Fewer Sugary Drinks,” the campaign seeks to decrease “average consumption of sugary drinks to roughly 3 cans per person per week by 2020,” a goal reportedly backed by officials in Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Antonio, and Seattle, as well as 110 local and national health organizations.

According to an August 31, 2011, CSPI press release, the campaign’s Website urges “individuals and families to take the Life’s Sweeter challenge to drink fewer or no sugary drinks,” including “fruit-flavored beverages with little or no juice, sweetened iced teas, lemonades, energy drinks, and so-called sports drinks.” The groups have also called on employers, hospitals and government agencies “to adopt policies that would reduce soda consumption,” such as eliminating these products from cafeterias and vending machines.

“Life’s Sweeter’s goal is to broaden the battle against sugary drinks from health experts to civic organizations, youth groups, civil rights groups, and others,” said CSPI Executive Director Michael Jacobson. “The enormous health and economic benefits that would result from drinking less ‘liquid candy’ will be supported by a broad cross-section of America. Not since the antitobacco campaigns has there been a product so worthy of a national health campaign.”