Americans' opinions about policies to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages

Prev Med. 2014 Jun:63:52-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.03.002. Epub 2014 Mar 11.


Objective: Strategies to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages are a key component of public health promotion and obesity prevention, yet the introduction of many of these policies has been met with political controversy. The objective of this study is to assess the levels of and determinants of U.S. public support for policies to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.

Methods: An Internet-based survey (N=1319) was fielded with a nationally-representative sample of U.S. adults aged 18-64 during fall 2012.

Results: Respondents have the highest support for calorie labeling (65%) and removing drinks from schools (62%), and the lowest support for taxes (22%) or portion size restrictions (26%). Examining several determinants of support simultaneously, Democrats and those with negative views of soda companies are more likely to support these policies.

Conclusions: The results provide policymakers and advocates with insights about the political feasibility of policy approaches to address the prevalent consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, as well as the role of attitudes toward soda companies as an independent predictor of the public's opinions.

Keywords: Obesity; Policy; Public opinion; Sugar-sweetened beverages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Carbonated Beverages / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Promotion / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / etiology*
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Public Health / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Public Opinion*
  • Sweetening Agents / adverse effects*
  • United States
  • Young Adult


  • Sweetening Agents