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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 2350-2358

Awareness and perceptions regarding taxation and health warnings related to sugar-sweetened beverages and the factors associated with these among visitors of a general out-patient clinic in Bhopal, India


1 All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
2 Department of Community and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Datia Medical College, Datia, Madhya Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Anindo Majumdar
Assistant Professor, Department of Community and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhopal - 462 020, Madhya Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_226_20

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Introduction: Although increased taxation on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and warning labels on their packaging have been successful in other countries, India has not implemented these. It is imperative to understand the user perspectives before implementation, regarding which almost no information exists. Objectives: To assess the awareness and perceptions of people regarding taxation and health warnings on SSB packaging, and to determine the factors associated with these. Methodology: This cross-sectional study was conducted in the general out-patient clinic of a public tertiary care hospital in Bhopal, India, between April and November 2018. Patients and accompanying persons ≥15 years of age and attending the clinic were included. Severely ill patients were excluded. Exit interviews were conducted after the clinical consultation using a pre-tested semi-structured interview schedule. Data were analyzed using IBM SPSS version 21. Results: Out of the 503 participants interviewed, three-fourths had never heard of taxes on SSBs and had never seen any health warning on SSB packaging. Most participants (96.6%) wanted some health warning to be present on the packaging. Majority of them (69.3%) wanted both textual and pictorial warnings. Close to half of those who wanted a pictorial warning to be present opined that it should occupy <25% of the surface area of the packaging. Multivariable analysis showed that participants aged <25 years and females were not in favor of tax increment. Conclusion: Government policies should also focus on user perspectives and preferences before deciding to increase tax on SSBs or introducing mandatory health warnings on SSBs.


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