Warning labels on sugary drinks impact sales, consumer behavior

Adding warning labels to sugary beverages such as soda and sports drinks led to a drop in sales of such beverages and strengthened perceptions among consumers that sugary drinks contribute to disease, according to new research from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health.

The study, published in PLOS Medicine and presented at a recent virtual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition, analyzed findings from 23 published studies that included a total of more than 16,200 people.

The findings indicate that adding warning labels to sugary beverages could be an effective policy strategy for informing consumers about their potential health impacts and reducing consumption. Sugary drinks have been linked to a number of metabolic diseases, including diabetes and obesity.

“Our findings suggest that sugary drink warnings help consumers better understand products’ healthfulness and encourage consumers to make healthier choices about what drinks to buy,” lead author Anna Grummon, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, said in a June 1, 2020 HealthDay article.

Read the HealthDay article: Health Warning Labels Could Cut Soda Sales

Read the PLOS Medicine study: Sugary drink warnings: A meta-analysis of experimental studies