A rapid review examining purchasing changes resulting from fiscal measures targeted at high sugar foods and sugar-sweetened drinks

Katharine E. Roberts*, Louisa J. Ells, Victoria J. McGowan, Theodora Machaira, Victoria C. Targett, Rachel E. Allen, Alison E. Tedstone

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    To aim of the review was to examine the most recent (2010 onwards) research evidence on the health and behavioural impacts, in adults and children, of fiscal strategies that target high sugar foods and sugar-sweetened drinks (SSDs). A pragmatic rapid review was undertaken using a systematic search strategy. The review was part of a programme of work to support policy development in relation to high sugar food and SSDs. A total of 11 primary research publications were included, describing evidence from France (n = 1), the Netherlands (n = 3), and the United States of America (n = 7), assessed through a variety of study designs, with the majority in adult populations (n = 10). The evidence reviewed focused on consumer behaviour outcomes and suggested that fiscal strategies can influence purchases of high sugar products. Although the majority of studies (n = 10), including three field studies, demonstrated that an increase in the price of high sugar foods and SSDs resulted in a decrease in purchases, eight studies were conducted in a laboratory or virtual setting which may not reflect real-life situations. Findings from this review support evidence from the broader literature that suggests that fiscal measures can be effective in influencing the purchasing of high sugar foods and SSDs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number302
    JournalNutrition and Diabetes
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This project was funded by Public Health England (PHE) and produced through collaboration between Teesside University and PHE. At the time of writing these papers Katharine Roberts was employed by PHE, Louisa Ells was employed by Teesside University but has an academic secondment to PHE 2 days/week, Victoria McGowan and Theodora Machaira were employed by Teesside University and were contracted to work on this project for PHE. None of the authors have any conflicts of interest to declare. Ethical approval for this study was granted by the School of Health and Social Care’s Research Governance and Ethics Committee at Teesside University on 4 December 2014.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2017 The Author(s).


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