Sugar warnings encourage healthier choices

Some new research out of the US suggests that using signs to warning shoppers how much exercise they need to do to burn off calories in sugary drinks can encourage healthier choices.

A study of teenagers’ purchasing habits found they bought fewer sugary drinks and more water when the signs were up.

For six weeks, the brightly coloured signs were displayed in corner shops in neighbourhoods in Baltimore, in full view of young customers buying sugary drinks.

Four different signs were used in the shops. Two translated the calories in the drinks into the amount of exercise needed to burn off those calories.

One sign said it would take 50 minutes of running to work off the 250 calories – or 16 teaspoons of sugar – contained in a 590ml bottle of fizzy drink, sports drink or fruit juice.

Sugary drinks, such as fruit juices and fizzy drinks, can contain up to nine tablespoons of sugar in one can

A can of fizzy drink, which is 330ml in size in the UK, contains around nine teaspoons of sugar.

One quarter of all adults and one in five children in the UK are classified as obese.

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