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The influence of Sugar Sweetened Beverage health warning labels on parent's choices

11 / 04 / 16

Roberto CA, Wong D, Musicus A, Hammond D. The Influence of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Health Warning Labels on Parents' Choices. Pediatrics. 2016 Feb;137(2):1-10

Which warning labels are most impactful? This study surveyed 2381 parents online and assigned them to one of six conditions: (1) no warning label, (2) calorie label, (3-6) 1 of 4 text versions of a warning label (“Drinking beverages with added sugar contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay”). They were then asked to select a beverage for their child from a vending machine, rate their perceptions of the beverage, and indicate their interest in receiving beverage coupons. Significantly fewer parents chose an SSB for their child if it had a warning label (40%), no label (60%) and calorie label (53%).

Parents in the warning label groups chose fewer SSB coupons, believed that SSBs were less healthy and were less likely to intend to purchase SSBs. The authors concluded warning labels improved parents’ understanding of health consequences of overconsumption and reduced purchase of SSBs.