Snigdha Peddireddy, Sadie Boniface, Nathan Critchlow, Jessica Newberry Le Vay, Katherine Severi, Jyotsna Vohra, Factors Associated with Adolescents’ Support for Product Information and Health Messaging on Alcohol Packaging: A Cross-Sectional Study in the United Kingdom, Alcohol and Alcoholism, 2021;, agab080, https://doi.org/10.1093/alcalc/agab080
Adolescents in the UK are among the heaviest drinkers in Europe. The World Health Organization recommends alcohol product labelling to inform consumers about product information and health risks associated with alcohol use. This study investigates support for product information and health messaging on alcohol packaging among UK adolescents.
The 2019 UK Youth Alcohol Policy Survey was an online cross-sectional survey among 3388 adolescents aged 11–19. Participants indicated their support for seven forms of messaging on packaging (e.g. number of alcohol units, links to health conditions). Logistic regression models investigated associations between support for each of the seven forms and alcohol use, perceived risks of alcohol use, and previous exposure to messaging.
Between 60 and 79% of adolescents were supportive of different aspects of product labelling. Compared to lower-risk drinkers, higher-risk drinkers (AUDIT-C 5+) had higher odds of supporting including the number of alcohol units (OR: 1.82, 95% CI: 1.31–2.54), calories (OR: 1.52, 95% CI: 1.04–1.68), and strength of the product (OR: 1.73, 95% CI: 1.19–2.52) but lower odds of supporting including information on alcohol-related health conditions (OR: 0.68, 95% CI: 0.53–0.87). Adolescents who perceived risks of alcohol use more strongly were more likely to support all forms of product information and messaging.
The majority of adolescents supported improved alcohol labelling. Higher-risk drinkers were supportive of improved product information but less supportive of health-related messaging. Adolescents who believe alcohol carries health risks were more likely to support messaging.