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The effect of front-of-package labels or point-of-sale signage on consumer knowledge, attitudes and behavior regarding sugar-sweetened beverages: a systematic review

Globally, the use of labels or signage targeting SSBs remains in its infancy and there is limited evidence available regarding its ability to decrease purchase and consumption of SSBs.

This systematic review aimed to synthesize the evidence on the effect of sugar- or health-related sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) warning labels or signage on knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs, and SSB purchase and consumption.

Data sources:
Nine databases – Ovid Medline, Emerald Insight, Scopus, Informit, Business Source Complete, CINAHL, Global Health, PsychINFO, and SocIndex – were searched along with grey literature from inception to December 2019. The PRISMA guidelines were applied for reporting this systematic review.

Study Selection:
Studies examining the impact of front of pack (FOP) labels and/or point of sale (POS) signage highlighting added sugar content or its health risks were included.

Data extraction:
Two authors independently extracted data on items, including study details, study design, population characteristics, intervention label details (type, duration, and settings), and outcomes measures. The Effective Public Health Practice Project tool was used to assess the study quality.

Data analysis:
Findings were synthesized narratively.

Twenty-one studies published between 1992 and 2019 were included. Of these, 16 studies examined the impact of FOP labels and 5 studies examined the impact of POS signage. Both FOP labels and POS signage were associated with improved health knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding SSBs and reduced SSB purchases. Warning labels with diet-related health consequences were found to be particularly effective. Overall quality of studies was assessed as mixed.

Health- or sugar-related FOP labels and POS signage for SSBs are promising public health measures and may improve consumers’ health behaviors toward reduced SSB purchase and consumption.



Nutrition Reviews

Article number



Oxford University Press


Oxford, Eng.







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2020, The Author(s)