Sugar Series

Got a sweet tooth? Me too. . . 

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying. . .

Ahhhh. Nothing beats a crisp, cold soda on a hot day. Wait, too much sugar is bad? Since when?! Ugh.. how can we make healthier choices?

Enter Desiree Sigala and team from University of California, Davis. They investigated how restaurant menus can EFFECTIVELY alert customers to high-sugar items. Researchers surveyed over thirteen hundred individuals who viewed different versions of a menu. Some had various warning labels next to sugary items; others had QR codes. Which method drove the point home?

The warning labels were equally effective, and all were better than QR codes. Participants with warning labels had a better understanding of the sugar content of menu items. Additionally, eighty percent of participants supported requiring labels on menus.

This work shows that people can and want to be alerted about sugar. Adding labels to menus could help consumers make healthier choices!

So gimme one of those hairspray-flavored seltzers… hold the QR code.

Reference: Sigala, D. M., Hall, M. G., Musicus, A. A., Roberto, C. A., Solar, S. E., Fan, S., … Falbe, J. (2022). Perceived effectiveness of added-sugar warning label designs for U.S. restaurant menus: An online randomized controlled trial. Preventive Medicine, 160, 107090.