Study: Warning Labels Might Stop Parents from Buying Sugary Drinks

– Warning labels detailing health risks associated with sugary drinks such as diabetes and obesity may convince parents not to buy these beverages for their kids, a U.S. study suggests.

For the experiment, researchers gave 2,381 parents online surveys asking them to select a beverage for their child from a range of 12 sugar-sweetened sodas and juices as well as eight low-sugar options like water, unsweetened juices and diet sodas.

When pictures of the sugar-sweetened drinks appeared, parents were randomly shown warning labels, calorie icons or no health information on the front of the containers.

Absent any health information, 60 percent of parents picked a sugary drink. But with warning labels, just 40 percent of parents chose sweetened beverages.

“We were surprised at how large the effect was,” said lead study author Christina Roberto of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.