The global health issue of childhood obesity is one that is getting worse. It is understood to be a disease of civilization that impairs the health of the entire organism. It takes a lot of effort and time to fight it. Harvard University researchers came up with a brilliantly straightforward concept that involves affixing special labels to bottles of sugary drinks that resemble those found on cigarette packs.
Children are increasingly becoming obese, and poor eating habits and a lack of exercise are the main causes of this condition. Numerous negative health and life consequences are possible as a result of this lifestyle disease. As a result, the World Health Organization has made the fight against the obesity epidemic a top priority (WHO). Promoting a healthy diet and an active lifestyle is one way. But it’s still insufficient..
A team of American researchers from Harvard University, led by Dr. Aviva Ann Musicus, had an inspiration while conducting the study. She added warning labels to bottles of sweet carbonated and non-carbonated drinks to protect people’s health.
Both written and visual warnings were used, for example, “Sugar increases the risk of caries.” For example, they showed what happens to the body when too much of these drinks are drunk.
The analysis involved almost 1,000 parents of kids between the ages of 6 and 11. The participants were first divided into four groups by the researchers. Each of them was required to read the labels on the containers of sugary drinks, which typically included the ingredients list, a written warning about the high sugar content, a graphic warning (such as bags or teaspoons of sugar), and a health warning graphic (e.g. tooth decay, a diabetic foot, or person on dialysis).
The subjects were then instructed by the researchers to purchase drinks for their kids from an online grocery store. It turned out that they were more concerned with the product’s sugar content. The respondents said it made them feel disgusted to consume these drinks because of the packaging’s new labels’ “drastic” graphics.
Compared to parents who only had to read the standard label, 13.4% of parents skipped buying a child a sweet drink. When parents saw health warnings with pictures, 14.7% of them decided not to put high-sugar drinks in their virtual shopping basket.
They stated that this kind of label made them feel a variety of emotions, including guilt, anxiety, fear, and disgust. Scientists contend that feelings are what drive habit change. Parents believe that labels should be placed on the packaging of sweet drinks that show how much sugar is in them. They are more effective than disturbing health warnings.
warning labels on sugary drink bottles. “A good solution”
In an interview with the website MailOnline, dietitian Sonia Pombo from Action on Sugar talked about the results of the study. She thinks that any solution that shows that a certain product has too much sugar is a good one. “The study proves that putting this kind of information on labels helps shoppers make better decisions,” she said. He hopes that this analysis will get companies to change the way their packaging looks to make it clear how much sugar is in a product. Dr. Linda Greenwall, who started the Dental Wellness Trust, says that putting these labels on foods would also help a lot in the fight against caries in children.