Effect of alcohol label designs with different pictorial representations of alcohol content and health warnings on knowledge and understanding of Low Risk Drinking Guidelines: A randomized controlled trial
Gold, Natalie; Egan, Mark; Londakova, Kristina; Mottershaw, Abigail; Harper, Hugo; Burton, Robyn; Henn, Clive; Smolar, Maria; Walmsley, Matthew; Arambepola, Rohan; Watson, Robin; Bowen, Sarah; Greaves, Felix
Mr Robin Watson firstname.lastname@example.org
Background and aims: The UK Low Risk Drinking Guidelines (LRDG) recommend not regularly drinking more than 14 units of alcohol per week. We tested the effect of different pictorial representations of alcohol content, some with a health warning, on knowledge of the LRDG and understanding of how many drinks it equates to. Design: Parallel randomized controlled trial. Setting: Online, 25 Jan ‐ 1 Feb 2019. Participants: Participants (n = 7,516) were English, over 18 years, and drink alcohol. Interventions: The control group saw existing industry‐standard labels; six intervention groups saw designs based on: food labels (serving or serving & container), pictographs (servings or containers), pie charts (servings), or risk gradients. A total of 500 participants (~70 per condition) saw a health warning under the design. Measurements: Primary outcomes: (i) knowledge: proportion who answered that the LRDG is 14 units; (ii) understanding: how many servings/containers of beverages one can drink before reaching 14 units (10 questions, average distance from correct answer). Findings: In the control group, 21.5% knew the LRDG; proportions were higher in intervention groups (all p < 0.001). The three best‐performing designs had the LRDG in a separate statement, underneath the pictograph container, 51.1% (AOR = 3.74, 95% CI 3.08‐4.54), pictograph serving 48.8% (AOR = 4.11, 95% CI 3.39‐4.99), and pie chart serving, 47.5% (AOR = 3.57, 95% CI 2.93‐4.34). Participants underestimated how many servings they could drink: control M = ‐4.64, SD =3.43; intervention groups were more accurate (all p < 0.001), best performing was pictograph serving (M= ‐0.93, SD = 3.43). Participants overestimated how many containers they could drink: control M = 0.09, SD =1.02; intervention groups overestimated even more (all p< 0.007), worst performing was food label serving (M = 1.10, SD = 1.27). Participants judged the alcohol content of beers more accurately than wine or spirits. The inclusion of a health warning had no statistically significant effect on any measure. Conclusions: Labels with enhanced pictorial representations of alcohol content improved knowledge and understanding of the United Kingdom’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines (LRDG) compared with industry‐standard labels; health warnings did not improve knowledge or understanding of LRDG. Designs that improved knowledge most had the LRDG in a separate statement located underneath graphics.
Gold, N., Egan, M., Londakova, K., Mottershaw, A., Harper, H., Burton, R., …Greaves, F. (2021). Effect of alcohol label designs with different pictorial representations of alcohol content and health warnings on knowledge and understanding of Low Risk Drinking Guidelines: A randomized controlled trial. Addiction, 116(6), 1443-1459. https://doi.org/10.1111/add.15327
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Acceptance Date||Nov 2, 2020|
|Online Publication Date||Nov 9, 2020|
|Publication Date||May 17, 2021|
|Deposit Date||Nov 10, 2020|
|Publicly Available Date||Nov 9, 2021|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
Accepted Journal Article
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Gold, Natalie, Egan, Mark, Londakova, Kristina, Mottershaw, Abigail, Harper, Hugo, Burton, Robyn, Henn, Clive, Smolar, Maria, Walmsley, Matthew, Arambepola, Rohan, Watson, Robin, Bowen, Sarah & Greaves, Felix (2021). Effect of alcohol label designs with different pictorial representations of alcohol content and health warnings on knowledge and understanding of Low Risk Drinking Guidelines: A randomized controlled trial. Addiction 116(6): 1443-1459., which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/add.15327. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.