By Elise Viebeck - 07/19/12 07:50 PM EDT
"Americans now need a wake-up call with regard to the impact of sugary drink consumption on the health, economy and national security of our country."
The letter suggests a Surgeon General's Report that would discuss the science of sugar addiction and propose federal, state and local policies to counter it.
"The report would pave the way for policy measures at all levels of government and for widespread voluntary actions in the private sector to reduce health," the letter states.
The groups predicted that the outcome of such an effort would mirror the landmark 1964 Surgeon General's "Report on Smoking and Health," which many say helped turn the tide on American tobacco use.
The letter was co-signed by nearly 100 national and local health, medical and consumer organizations as well as local U.S. health departments.