Author Interviews, Nutrition, Sugar, Weight Research / 08.05.2015

Dr. Dragos Petrescu Department of Public Health and Primary Care Interview with: Dr. Dragos Petrescu Department of Public Health and Primary Care Cambridge Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is a major contributor to obesity, particularly in children. Recent systematic reviews provide good evidence that reducing portion size reduces consumption. Similarly, evidence suggests that container shapes and product placement in supermarkets can influence consumption. The public acceptability of "nudging" -- altering properties such as the size, the shape, and location of sugar-sweetened beverages -- to improve public health is unknown. Here we compared the acceptability in UK and USA samples of government interventions to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages: three nudge interventions (limiting portion size, changing container shape, and changing shelf location) and two traditional interventions (increased taxation and an education campaign). We found that for the majority of UK and USA samples, the education campaign and the three nudge interventions were acceptable, with education attracting most support.  By contrast, only a minority of participants supported taxation. (more…)