Can ‘low’ labels encourage healthier choices?

Labelling lower strength alcohol products with terms such as ‘low’ and ‘light’ could reduce alcohol consumption by encouraging people to choose these products over higher strength alternatives.

In a systematic review, we investigated the impact of ‘low’ labelling of alcohol, food and tobacco products on selection, consumption, and perceptions of products among adults.

A very low quality and equivocal evidence base, made up of 26 eligible studies, indicated that ‘low’ labelling can shift consumer perceptions of products, though may have the potential to encourage overconsumption due to products being perceived as healthier.

What do we know about the effects of exposure to ‘Low alcohol’ and equivalent product labelling on the amounts of alcohol, food and tobacco people select and consume? A systematic review. Shemilt, Hendry, Marteau, 2017.

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