The Effect of Graphic Warnings on Sugary-Drink Purchasing
Donnelly, Grant E.
Zatz, Laura Y.
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CitationDonnelly, Grant, Laura Y. Zatz, Daniel Svirsky, and Leslie John. "The Effect of Graphic Warnings on Sugary-Drink Purchasing." Psychological Science 29, no. 8 (August 2018): 1321–1333.
AbstractGovernments have proposed text warning labels to decrease consumption of sugary drinks – a contributor to chronic diseases like diabetes. However, they may be less effective than more evocative, graphic warning labels. We field-tested the effectiveness of graphic warning labels (vs. text warning labels, calorie labels, and no labels), provided insight into psychological mechanisms driving effectiveness, and assessed consumer sentiment. Study 1 indicated that graphic warning labels reduced the share of sugary drinks purchased in a cafeteria, from 21.4% at baseline to 18.2%—an effect driven by substitution of water for sugary drinks. Study 2 showed that graphic warning labels work by heightening negative affect and prompting consideration of health consequences. Study 3 indicated that public support for graphic warning labels can be increased by conveying effectiveness information. These findings could spur more effective labeling policies that: facilitate healthier choices, do not decrease overall beverage purchases, and are publicly accepted.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:40597377
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