Taking On Sugar
Plenty of kids love sugary drinks, and they’re a big driver of childhood obesity—which can snowball and lead to the development of other health issues like high blood pressure, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, and more. One way to address the problem is to get parents to buy fewer beverages for their kiddos, and researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill think they may have discovered a tool that could help: adding pictures to labels. A lab was set up to resemble a convenience store, and a diverse group of parents of children ages 2 to 12 were invited to “shop” for a drink, a snack, and a household item. Some shoppers saw sugary drinks with pictorial warnings about type 2 diabetes and heart disease risk on the bottles, and another group saw shelves of sweet drinks with just a barcode and no warning. Pictorial warnings led to a 17% reduction in sugary drink purchases, and a survey revealed that the warnings also made parents feel more in control of healthy eating decisions.