Sugary beverages add a significant amount of sugar and calories to the diets of children and adolescents. Choosing healthy beverages, and low- or no-calorie options such as water, instead of high-calorie sugary beverages, has great potential to help children, youth, and families reduce caloric intake, improve diet quality, and reduce their risk for obesity and oral health problems. Yet, access to safe affordable drinking water is not equitable. Research in this area evaluates strategies to increase access to and consumption of healthy beverages and decrease access to and consumption of unhealthy beverages.

Research & Publications See all

December 2021

Text Messages to Curb Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption among Pregnant Women and Mothers: A Mobile Health Randomized Controlled Trial

Racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in childhood obesity in the United States originate in early life. Maternal sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption is an early life risk factor for later offspring obesity. The goal of this study was to test the effects of policy-relevant messages delivered by text messages mobile devices (mHealth) on maternal SSB consumption. More

November 2021

Changing Policies and Practices to Implement Beverage Consensus Recommendations

In 2018, Healthy Eating Research (HER)—a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)—developed a national research agenda to reduce the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) and increase access to and consumption of safe drinking water among 0- to 5-year-olds. Through this process, it became clear that a lack of consistent recommendations for beverage More

September 2021

Effects of Front-of-Package Disclosures on Parents’ Understanding of Ingredients in Sweetened and Unsweetened Children’s Drinks

The purpose of this study is to examine whether front-of-package (FOP) disclosures increase parents’ (of children ages 1-5) ability to accurately identify the amount of juice and the presence of added sugar and non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) in children’s drinks (fruit drinks, flavored waters, 100% juice and diluted juice/water blends). The specific aims are: (1) develop More

September 2021

Sweetened Beverage Taxes: Legislative Approaches to Revenue Dedication and Allocation that Advance Equity

The purpose of this analysis is to provide useful guidance to policymakers and advocates regarding sweetened beverage tax (SBT) allocation and dedication. The specific aims are to: 1) collect all state SBT bills proposed in the United States in the past ten years, and all adopted local laws along with a representative set of proposed More