Measures To Reduce Sugary Drinks Gains Public Acceptance

Dr. Dragos Petrescu Department of Public Health and Primary Care CambridgeMedicalResearch.com 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.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Nudge interventions to reduce consumption of sugary drinks appear to be acceptable to the public. Policymakers can be reassured about the public acceptability of nudging to reduce sugar-sweetened beverages consumption; however our results suggest taxation to lower consumption would not be popular with the majority of both the UK and US populations.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Future research is needed to explore how best to communicate to the public in order to increase support for unpopular but likely effective policies, such as increased taxation.

Citation: Abstract presented at the European Congress on Obesity

Public acceptability in the UK and USA of nudging to reduce obesity: The example of reducing sugar-sweetened beverages consumption

Petrescu D.C.1, Hollands G.J.1, Ng Y.1, Marteau T.M.1

1Behaviour and Health Research Unit, University of Cambridge

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Public acceptability in the UK and USA of nudging to reduce obesity: The example of reducing sugar-sweetened beverages consumption

 

 

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Dragos Petrescu (2015). Measures To Reduce Sugary Drinks Gains Public Acceptance MedicalResearch.com

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