Now they want plain packaging for soft drinks!

There is literally no end to the demands being made by public health activists. Having convinced politicians that tobacco should have , they now want to extend that to . After that will come fast food, and then probably cuddly toys.

This is why overall I oppose plain packaging for tobacco. We know from history that despite tobacco being vastly different to any other product (it is highly addictive and massively decreases life expectancy) that the policies enacted for tobacco eventually end up being extended to other products.

The Herald reports:

Plain packaging is on the way for tobacco products in New Zealand but should it be extended to soft drinks?

Researchers from the University of Auckland say plain packaging and the kinds of warning labels found on cigarette packs could be an effective way to reduce childhood obesity.

Note the “could”. Almost anything “could” work.

The findings were published yesterday by the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity after an online survey of 604 young people who regularly drank soft drinks.

Participants viewed images of branded and plain-packaged soft drinks, some with a text or graphic warning and a 20 per cent tax, and their perceptions measured using rating scales.

So a self selecting survey of 600 people had them say what they thought they would do given different packaging.  This is very different to actually measuring the impact of a different design.

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