Reducing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption by providing caloric information: how Black adolescents alter their purchases and whether the effects persist

Am J Public Health. 2014 Dec;104(12):2417-24. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302150. Epub 2014 Oct 16.

Abstract

Objectives: We examined the ways in which adolescents altered the type and size of their purchases of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), together with whether the effects persisted after removing caloric information signs in stores.

Methods: We used a case-crossover design with 6 stores located in low-income Black neighborhoods in Baltimore, Maryland, from 2012 to 2013. The intervention used 1 of 4 randomly posted signs with caloric information: absolute calories, number of teaspoons of sugar, and number of minutes of running or miles of walking necessary to burn off a beverage. We collected data for 4516 purchases by Black adolescents, including both baseline and postintervention periods with no signs posted.

Results: We found that providing caloric information significantly reduced the number of total beverage calories purchased, the likelihood of buying an SSB, and the likelihood of buying an SSB greater than 16 ounces (P < .05). After removing the signs, the quantity, volume, and number of calories from SSB purchases remained lower than baseline (P < .05).

Conclusions: Providing caloric information was associated with purchasing a smaller SSB, switching to a beverage with no calories, or opting to not purchase a beverage; there was a persistent effect on reducing SSB purchases after signs were removed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • African Americans*
  • Beverages* / economics
  • Beverages* / statistics & numerical data
  • Consumer Health Information*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / ethnology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control
  • Dietary Sucrose / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / ethnology
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Taxes

Substances

  • Dietary Sucrose