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Can the updated nutrition facts label decrease sugar-sweetened beverage consumption?

Zachary Neuhofer, Brandon McFadden (), Alicia Rihn, Xuan Wei, Hayk Khachatryan and Lisa House ()

Economics & Human Biology, 2020, vol. 37, issue C

Abstract: Sugar-sweetened beverages are the primary source of added sugar consumption in the U.S, and the Food and Drug Administration recently updated the Nutrition Facts Label to communicate the amount of added sugars in manufactured food. The changes to the Nutrition Facts Label (NFL) is concurrent with some cities implementing policies that place an excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. While sugar-sweetened beverages taxes may be effective at changing quantity demanded, the updated NFL has the potential to shift the demand curve by decreasing friction and mental gaps associated with the communication of nutrition information. We conducted a randomized control trial using eye tracking technology to determine if the updated NFL garnered more visual attention or affected beverage choice. Participants were also exposed to an information intervention to determine if the updated NFL affected choice after receiving information about added sugars. We found that consumers were more visually attentive to nutrition information displayed by the updated NFL; however, viewing the updated label did not affect choice of beverages nor did it improve the effectiveness of the dietary information on subsequent choices.

Keywords: Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption; Sugar-sweetened beverage taxes; Nutrition facts label; Added sugar; Eye tracking (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D12 H2 I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:37:y:2020:i:c:s1570677x19302321

DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2020.100867

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