Plain packaging could be answer to sugary drinks

  • 02/09/2016

A Kiwi study has found plain packaging and warning labels could be the key to stopping people from buying sugary drinks.

A tax on the drinks is often touted as a solution, but Auckland University researchers say a strategy similar to cigarette packaging has a powerful effect.

"People were presented with an image on a can of tooth decay, and that was accompanied by a warning of consuming drinks with added sugar can lead to tooth decay," says Auckland University's Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu.

She says it's important to make the cans less appealing.

"Plain packaging, warning labels and pricing all had a very significant negative effect on young people's perceptions of the cans."

Prof Ni Mhurchu says there's no silver bullet to tackling sugary drinks - a sugar tax could still be helpful.

Warning labels have already been adopted on sugary drinks in San Francisco in the US.