A cross-sectional study on awareness and perceptions regarding taxation and health warnings and factors influencing decreased consumption of sugar sweetened beverages among medical students of Bhopal, India with respect to future implementation of such policies

Soumya K. Mandal, G. Revadi, Darshan Parida, Sembagamuthu Sembiah, Anindo Majumdar


Background: Consumption of excessive sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) has been linked to non-communicable diseases. It is imperative to understand the perceptions regarding taxation and health warnings amongst the medical students, since they are important stakeholders and as there is some evidence that the government may introduce these soon. Objective was to document the awareness and perceptions about taxation and health warnings on SSBs and the predictors of decreasing consumption of SSBs with regards to their future implementation.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among all the undergraduate medical students of a premier teaching hospital of central India during October and November 2019. A web-based self-administered semi-structured questionnaire was used for data collection using Kobo toolbox. Data were analysed using the SPSS software version 24 (IBM SPSS).

Results: About three fourths of the study participants were not aware of any taxes on SSBs and had never seen any health warning on SSB packaging. Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that those aged ≥ 20 were not in favour of decreasing SSB consumption if health warning is present. Participants who were females, whose fathers were professionals, had consumed SSB in the previous seven days, were aware of taxes and those with inadequate sleep were not in favour of decreasing SSB consumption if taxes are increased.

Conclusions: There is a need to include health education regarding the harmful effects of consumption of SSBs and to make aware of the benefits of the taxes and warning labels beginning from school days and continued during medical schools.


Awareness, Pictorial, Perception, Sugar sweetened beverages, Students, Warning labels

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