Experts turn to warning labels on soda bottles and restaurant menus to curb obesity epidemic

Experts at Washington University in St. Louis have turned to the implementation of warning labels on soda beverages and restaurant menus in an effort to curb the obesity epidemic.

According to researchers, who released their latest findings in the Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, nutrition labeling may be a promising approach to addressing the issue of poor diet and obesity.

As part of their new research, the Washington University team developed a stochastic microsimulation model that estimates what impacts sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) warning labels and menu labeling have on a variety of factors, such as energy intake and body mass index.

“SSB warning labels and restaurant menu labeling regulations were estimated to reduce daily energy intake by 19.13 kcal and 33.09 kcal, body weight by 0.92 kg and 1.57 kg, body mass index by 0.32 and 0.55, and per-capita health care expenditures by $26.97 and $45.47 over 10 years,” the authors wrote in their findings.

“SSB warning labels and menu labeling regulations could be effective policy leverage to prevent weight gains and reduce medical expenses attributable to adiposity,” they concluded.

The findings were published in August of 2021.

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