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Warning Information on Sugary Drinks May Help Reduce Consumption Among Teens

Love that can of cola too much? Does that intense craving make it hard for you to resist? The results of a new study may have something up for you.

Signs that warn shoppers of how much exercise they will need to burn off the calories obtained by consuming a single can of sugary drink may help them make healthier food choices, a new study has found.

The researchers took into consideration over 3000 purchases of sugary drinks made by children aged 7 to 18 at stores in low-income Baltimore and found that sugary drinks accounted for 98% of the beverages bought by kids. However, the figure dropped subsequently to 89% after the researchers put up colourful signs with calorie information on it.

Sugary drinks 'warning' posters work: study

Sugary drinks ‘warning’ posters work: study

Of the signs that were put up, the most effective sign was the one that indicated that one would need to walk five miles to burn off the calories obtained after consuming the drink.

The researchers do understand that current laws require beverage manufacturers to post caloric information on the packaging, but calorie numbers may not mean all that much to many consumers. Statistics about how long it will take to burn calories should also be included in more practical information and easier to grasp by consumers, the researchers believe.

“This is a very low-cost way to get children old enough to make their own purchases to drink fewer sugar-sweetened beverages, and they appear to be effective even after they are removed,” says study author Sara N. Bleich, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins University.

A number of public health ailments which harm children including obesity is significantly contributed by sugar-sweetened beverages like sodas and energy drinks. Sugary drink consumption accounts for about 15% of a minority adolescent’s caloric intake, more than twice the recommended quantity which results that problem is especially rampant in low-income communities. Decrease in that disparity can be helped with interventions.

“People don’t really understand what it means to say a typical soda has 250 calories,” says Bleich. “If you’re going to give people calorie information, there’s probably a better way to do it.”


About Enozia Vakil

Enozia Vakil is an online entrepreneur, writer, editor and an avid reader. She has been associated with some of the best names in both online and print media, and holds a degree in Alternative Medicine.

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