Giving Compass' Take:

• According to a new study from Washington University in St. Louis, warning labels can keep consumers from choosing sugary drinks like soda, with graphics having the greatest impact.

• How can donors and policymakers help further push incentives for creating warning labels and a better public policy? 

• Here's an article connecting sugary drinks to an early death. 

However, the United States has yet to pass legislation that would require such warning labels.

“The influence of sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) warning labels tends to be in line with the efficacy of warning labels on tobacco packages,” says Ruopeng An, assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis and lead author of the paper in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. “In addition, SSB warning labels may alter consumers’ perceptions about the healthfulness of a beverage.”

SSBs are beverages that are sweetened with various forms of added sugars, such as regular soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened waters, and coffee and tea beverages with added sugars. From 2011 to 2014, on any given day, 6 in 10 youths and 5 in 10 adults in the US drank SSBs and obtained over 140 calories from their consumption.

“During the past decade, various types of warning labels have been developed and tested that aimed to inform consumers about the health impact or nutritional implication of SSB consumption,” An says.

“Some SSB warning labels conveyed messages in text form, some adopted symbols or graphics, and others used a combination of different means to communicate with consumers. To our knowledge, no review has been conducted to summarize the scientific evidence generated from those studies,” he says.

In an effort to inform policymaking and promote evidence-based interventions at the population level, the new study serves as the first systematic review that aims to comprehensively identify and synthesize scientific literature that assessed the impact of SSB labels on consumer behaviors and intentions in the US and worldwide.

Read the full article about warning labels on sugary drinks by Neil Schoenherr at Futurity.