The effect of sugar-sweetened beverage front-of-pack labels on drink selection, health knowledge and awareness: An online randomised controlled trial
Review articleOpen access

AbstractPurpose and aimSugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) provide little nutritional value and are associated with an increased risk of diet-related diseases. Despite this, SSB consumption is high globally. One emerging strategy aimed at reducing SSB consumption involves the use of front-of-pack (FOP) labels that clearly identify the risks associated with SSB consumption. The aim of this research study was to determine whether FOP labels with a graphic warning, text warning, sugar information (with the number of teaspoons of added sugar) or Health Star Rating (HSR) reduces intended choice of a SSB in an online choice experiment with young Australian adults.Results994 participants were recruited and completed the online choice experiment. Compared to the control group who were not exposed to a label, the graphic warning, text warning, sugar information and HSR labels all significantly reduced selection of a SSB in the choice scenario. The magnitude of effect was greatest for the graphic warning label (OR 0.22 95% CI 0.14–0.35). Compared to the control group, only the HSR label significantly increased selections of the high HSR drinks (OR 2.18 95% CI 1.20–3.97).ConclusionsFOP labels, particularly those with graphic warnings, have the potential to reduce intended SSB purchases. Labels that also identify healthier alternatives may influence consumers to substitute SSBs with healthier drinks.

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