Taxes On Unhealthy Products And Prominent Nutrition Labels To Help Buyers Make Healthier Choices

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After the federal government rejected the suggestion to impose a tax on sugary drinks, researchers at the University of Waterloo said that consumers can be determined to choose healthier products by placing labels that stand out on sugary products. The study was published earlier this month in the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity.

Researchers conducted a study that went on for several years, observing the behavior of more than 3,500 drinks and snacks buyers. The results suggest that adding a 20% tax on unhealthy sugary products made consumers choose healthier alternatives that had considerably less sugar and calories. Even more, unhealthy products that had nutrition labels on the front of the package were generally avoided.

While the government did not agree with imposing a tax on sugary products, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor admitted that the government should focus on adding nutrition labels on the front of products.

Taxes On Unhealthy Products And Prominent Nutrition Labels To Help Buyers Make Healthier Choices

These ideas are all part of the effort to solve the ever-growing weight problem. Obesity is one of the top preventable risks for a large number of diseases, like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. While labeling products more prominently does not solve the weight problem, it could have a big impact on people, causing them to buy more healthy foods.

The research was made in malls all over Canada. The team of researchers, led by Ph.D. student Rachel Acton, displayed huge posters showing a variety of products in a vending machine. Participants were given $5 and asked to pick a product. The products were displayed in various ways to determine the shoppers’ behavior in different circumstances.

For example, one poster showed a regular drink and the diet version of it having the same price, as it happens in real life. Other posters had a significantly higher price for the non-diet product. Taxes and labels determined buyers to choose healthier products.

Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.