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PLoS One. 2013 Apr 10;8(4):e61081. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061081. Print 2013.

Regulating the way to obesity: unintended consequences of limiting sugary drink sizes.

Author information

1
University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States of America. b6wilson@ucsd.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We examined whether a sugary drink limit would still be effective if larger-sized drinks were converted into bundles of smaller-sized drinks.

METHODS:

In a behavioral simulation, participants were offered varying food and drink menus. One menu offered 16 oz, 24 oz, or 32 oz drinks for sale. A second menu offered 16 oz drinks, a bundle of two 12 oz drinks, or a bundle of two 16 oz drinks. A third menu offered only 16 oz drinks for sale. The method involved repeated elicitation of choices, and the instructions did not mention a limit on drink size.

RESULTS:

Participants bought significantly more ounces of soda with bundles than with varying-sized drinks. Total business revenue was also higher when bundles rather than only small-sized drinks were sold.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our research suggests that businesses have a strong incentive to offer bundles of soda when drink size is limited. Restricting larger-sized drinks may have the unintended consequence of increasing soda consumption rather than decreasing it.

PMID:
23593397
PMCID:
PMC3622664
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0061081
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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