Thursday, January 14, 2016

Parents less likely to buy sugar-sweetened soda with warning label

Parents who participated in an online survey were 20 percentage points less likely to say they would choose a sugar-sweetened beverage for their kids if they viewed a health warning label on its packaging than those who did not view a warning label, according to a study published by Pediatrics. Forty percent of participating parents said they would choose a sugar-sweetened beverage for their kids after viewing a warning label, compared to 60 percent of participating parents who saw no label. The study, which was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) through its Healthy Eating Research program, also concluded that health warning labels may reduce parents’ perception of the healthfulness of sugar-sweetened beverages and the ability of these beverages to boost kids’ energy and focus. Additionally, the labels may increase parents’ understanding of their child’s risk of weight gain, heart disease and diabetes from consuming these drinks.

The study, among the first to examine the influence of sugar-sweetened beverage warning labels, tested the effects, via an online survey of 2,381 parents, of five different labels—one which displayed calorie content and four which displayed variations of warning text—in addition to a control group who saw no warning label.

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