Did you do a double take when you read that? Good—you were supposed to. Warning labels on products that might be harmful to our health—think cigarettes and alcohol—are there to make us think twice before we buy them.
Now, researchers are investigating whether such labels on sugary drinks (including soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, and fruit drinks like Capri Sun and SunnyD) might deter parents from buying them for their kids. This is important because these drinks directly contribute to diet-related diseases, including obesity and diabetes.
Results from a recent study indicate that the labels would work as intended: Parents who saw warning labels on sugary drinks were 20 percentage points less likely to say they would buy them than those who did not see warning labels.
The study, published in Pediatrics, contributes to a timely discussion. San Francisco recently passed an ordinance requiring that ads for sugary drinks display health warnings, and Baltimore and New York are considering legislation as well.
If you’re curious what the warning label looks like, here is one that the researchers tested:
Soon, these labels might be coming to sodas, sports drinks, juice drinks and more in a city near you. Would they affect your choice?