Public acceptability of nudging and taxing to reduce consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and food

Smoking, and excessive consumption of alcohol and unhealthy snacks are leading causes of years of life lost globally. Promising interventions include nudging – changes to the physical environment to “nudge” people toward healthier behaviours – and taxation. Implementing such interventions often requires government intervention, which is made more likely by public support. We examined support for these interventions in a survey with an experimental design involving 7058 English adults.

Overall 60% supported these policies with support varying by policy and behaviour. Putting graphic warning labels on products received strongest support (from 78%), followed by reducing product size (59%), then taxing the product (57%), and finally reducing the availability of the product (47%).

To read the findings of the study in full, click here.

Reynolds, J. P., Archer, S., Pilling, M., Kenny, M., Hollands, G. J., & Marteau, T. M. (2019). Public acceptability of nudging and taxing to reduce consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and food: A population-based survey experiment.

Do larger glasses increase sales of wine in bars and restaurants?

This replication paper published in BMC Research Notes, adds to previous studies (Pechey et al 2016; Pechey et al 2017) that show an effect of glass size on sales, in bar and restaurant settings in Cambridge, England. The current paper outlines four studies, in two bars and one restaurant. In each study, the establishment served wine in small (290ml), medium (350ml) or large glasses (450ml), and this was changed over fortnightly periods for a period of 18 or 26 weeks.

Wine glass size and wine sales: four replication studies in one restaurant and two bars. Clarke N, Pechey R, Pilling M, Hollands GJ, Mantzari E, & Marteau TM.

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MRC student Tess Langfield wins International Collaborative Award

Tess Langfield has won a 2019 ‘Health and Behavior International Collaborative Award’ to conduct a psychophysiological experiment in Sydney, Australia.

The award enabled Tess to travel to Australia to conduct a novel experiment using facial electromyography to measure activity in a specific facial muscle called the orbicularis oris, during sipping from glasses of different shapes. Tess visited Macquarie University, Sydney, to work with Dr Philippe Gilchrist and A/Prof Melissa Norberg on the project, which was conducted in a specialist lab at Macquarie. This project builds on her Ph.D. research, which investigates the impact of glass shape on drinking behaviours for soft drinks.

There were four other winners of the HBIC award in 2019, which was set up to enable researchers to visit an international laboratory or research group under the guidance of an identified international mentor.

To see the full text of the interview with Lucy Lloyd click here.