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Will warning labels scare parents away from soda?

Health warning labels like those found on cigarette and other tobacco products could have a powerful effect on whether parents buy soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages for their kids.

Findings of a new study—the first of its kind to examine the influence of warning labels—shows that regardless of a parent’s level of education, they may be significantly less likely to purchase sugary drinks when a label warning that consuming beverages with added sugar may contribute to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay is present, compared to a label that only includes a calorie count or no label at all.

Further, health warning labels improve parents’ understanding of the health dangers associated with over-consumption of such beverages. The results come just one week after the US Department of Agriculture issued new eating guidelines recommending added sugar be limited to 10 percent or less of daily calories.

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