New Study Reveals Health Warning Labels Impact Teen’s Sugary Drink Choices


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Latino teens on average consume more sugary beverages than their white peers, studies show. In fact, about 74% of Latinos have had a sugary drink by age 5.

But what if teens and kids knew the impact sugary drinks had on their health?

A new study from Penn Medicine analyzed how teens perceived sugary drinks with health warning labels.

Researchers from the Center for Health incentives and Behavior Economics used an online survey to gauge more than 2,000 teens, ages 12-18, perception of their favorite sugary drinks, some drinks included a health warning labels while others did not.

The teens who didn’t see a warning label on their beverages (77%) chose a sugary drink. The teens who saw the warning labels were 8 to 16 % less likely to select a sugary beverage.

After completing the online purchasing simulation, the teens were asked about their beliefs regarding sugary drinks, 63% percent of all participants stated that they would support legislation requiring a warning label on sugary drinks and only 8 percent opposed the policy.

Many of the teens also reported that a warning label would change their beliefs about a beverage’s healthfulness and would encourage them to purchase fewer sugar-sweetened beverages in the future.

Many studies have shown the dangerous health risks that are linked to consuming sugary drinks, but now new studies, like this that researches health marketing and labels, reveal just how marketing impacts parents and kids food and beverage choices.

The study was funded by the Healthy Eating Research Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It comes on the heels of another study which showed that the city of Berkeley’s soda tax successfully reduced sugary drink consumption by 21 percent in low-income neighborhoods, building the case for policies that reduce the dangers of sugar-sweetened beverages.

To learn more about sugary drinks and it impacts on Latino kid’s health, click here.

To read more about policy changes on sugary drinks across the nation, read about Philly, or Berkely’s  positive outcomes or see more on how Boulder, Co’s proposal for a sugary drink tax is moving forward.

By The Numbers By The Numbers



for every Latino neighborhood, compared to 3 for every non-Latino neighborhood

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