California, New York, and the cities of San Francisco and Baltimore have introduced bills requiring health-related warning labels for sugar-sweetened beverages. This study measured the extent to which these warning labels influence adolescents’ beliefs and hypothetical choices. Over 2,000 adolescents ages 12-18 completed an online survey in which they chose a beverage in a hypothetical vending machine task, rated perceptions of different beverages, and indicated interest in coupons for beverages. Participants were randomly assigned to one of six conditions: 1) no warning label; 2) calorie label; 3–6) one of four text versions of a warning label (e.g., SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay). Controlling for frequency of beverage purchases, significantly fewer adolescents chose an SSB in three of the four warning label conditions (65%, 63%, and 61%) than in the no label condition (77%). Adolescents in the four warning label conditions chose fewer SSB coupons, and believed that SSBs were less likely to help them lead a healthy life and had more added sugar compared with the no label condition.
The Influence of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Warnings: A Randomized Trial of Adolescents’ Choices and Beliefs
U.S. states have introduced bills requiring sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) to display health warning labels. This study examined how warning labels influence parents and which labels are most effective. Over 2,000 demographically and educationally diverse parents of children ages 6 to 11 participated in an online survey. Parents were randomized to … More
Public Health and Legal Arguments in Favor of a Policy to Cap the Portion Sizes of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
In 2012, the New York City (NYC) Board of Health passed a regulation prohibiting the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) larger than 16 ounces in the city’s food service establishments. In June 2014, the rule was overturned after New York’s highest court ruled that the Board overstepped its authority. This … More
The purpose of this project is to understand the influence of health warning labels displayed on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) on consumer perceptions. This study was commissioned in response to California’s recent proposal to place health warning labels on SSBs in the absence of data. Investigators will conduct two randomized-controlled, web-based … More