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Am J Prev Med. 2016 Nov;51(5):664-672. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2016.07.010. Epub 2016 Sep 8.

The Influence of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Warnings: A Randomized Trial of Adolescents' Choices and Beliefs.

Author information

1
VA Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;; Perelman School of Medicine, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Electronic address: vanepps@mail.med.upenn.edu.
2
Perelman School of Medicine, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

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 measures the extent to which these warning labels influence adolescents' beliefs and hypothetical choices.

DESIGN:

Participants 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. Data were collected and analyzed in 2015.

SETTING/PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 2,202 demographically diverse adolescents aged 12-18 years completed the online survey.

INTERVENTION:

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).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Hypothetical choices, perceptions of beverages, interest in coupons, and endorsement of warning label policies were assessed.

RESULTS:

Controlling for frequency of beverage purchases, significantly fewer adolescents chose a sugar-sweetened beverage in three of the four warning label conditions (65%, 63%, and 61%) than in the no label (77%) condition. Adolescents in the four warning label conditions chose fewer sugar-sweetened beverage coupons and believed that sugar-sweetened beverages were less likely to help them lead a healthy life and had more added sugar compared with the no label condition.

CONCLUSIONS:

Health-related warning labels on sugar-sweetened beverages improved adolescents' recognition of the sugar content of such beverages and reduced hypothetical choices to buy sugar-sweetened beverages.

PMID:
27617366
PMCID:
PMC5533079
DOI:
10.1016/j.amepre.2016.07.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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