Images Of Decaying Teeth May Deter Sugary Drink Sales, Survey Finds

The Guardian reported that a new study has found “graphic health warnings like those on cigarette packets, showing rows of rotten teeth on cans of cola and other sugary drinks, could deter some young adults from buying them.” Prof. Anna Peeters from Australia’s Deakin University and colleagues surveyed nearly 1,000 people aged 18 and 35 to determine “the feasibility of introducing health warnings about the links between sugary drinks and obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay.” The researchers “tried out four different kinds of warnings – from plain text about the disease risk, number of teaspoons of sugar, to a picture of rotten teeth,” finding “all the warnings reduced the inclination of the subjects to buy the drinks,” although “there was a 20% drop” in the selection of sugary drinks showing “a picture of rotten teeth.”

The Independent reported the study suggests “images of rotted teeth and health warnings on the side of sugary drinks” may encourage young people to select healthier options. The study was presented at the European Congress on Obesity.