Recently a number of states have begun to promote bills that require health warning labels on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). So do they work? Roberto et al. (10.1542/peds.2015-3185) decided to try to answer this question by surveying almost 2400 parents nationally with an online randomized survey. Parents were randomized to choose a beverage for their child, rate beverages, or opt for coupons if the beverages had no warning label, a calorie label, or one of four versions of a warning label.
The good news is with the warning labels, parents were less apt to choose the SSB for their child even more so than with no label or calories only on the label. Parents also opted for less purchase of an SSB when comparing beverages and of not wanting coupons as long as there was a warning label—although no differences were seen between the four different warning labels.
While this study is only a theoretical one done by a survey rather than looking at actual purchases made by parents, there is promise in the results shown in this nice survey study (with a good response rate). You’ll find lots more interesting results to sweeten the deal if you read the study in detail.