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A new research published on January 14 in the Pediatrics journal revealed that warning labels put on sodas could be very efficient. The warning labels would look a lot like those that are put on the cigarette packs. The idea of the study comes from the growing concerns that sugary drinks could play an important role in the obesity, weight gain and tooth decay.
The lead author of the study, Christina Roberto and her team did survey online to approximately 2,400 parents that had a child with ages between 6 and 11. The experiment realized online split the parents into 6 big groups and they were asked to buy something to drink for their children. One group saw the beverages as they are displayed on a normal basis, the second group saw a calorie warning label and the other four remaining groups saw warning labels on the drinks. The warnings included the risks associated with the drinks and they included obesity, tooth decay, weight gain and type 2 diabetes.
60% of the people who saw no warning label chose a soda, 53% of the parents chose it, despite the calorie warning and 40% of the parents who saw the potential side effects of drinking sugary drinks chose it. The study’s findings show that the biggest impact on the parents have the warning labels.
Roberto said that a sugary drink of 6.5 ounces has seven teaspoons of sugar, which is twice the amount a sugar that is recommended for a child. The drinks that are considered to be healthy like sports drinks also contain high levels of sugar. This research discovered that approximately 66% of the kids with ages between 2 and 11 years old drank sugary beverages daily.
According to Lona Sandon, an assistant professor at the Texas Southwestern University, the effect of the labels on the sodas is the same as the warning labels that are put on the packages of cigarettes. They have impact on some people, but none on others. She also said that more awareness should be brought to the issue and parents should make wiser decisions for the sake of their children.
As warning labels put on sodas could be very efficient, in some of the states, these measures are already being taken. In California and in Baltimore City, legislations have been proposed for sugary drinks to have warning labels. The new dietary guidelines released recently also suggest that less than 10% of the daily calories should be taken from sweeteners.
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