Research shows the New York City ban on large-sized drinks may have unintended consequences

Contact: Souri Somphanith onepress@plos.org 415-624-121-7199 Public Library of Science

People buy more soda when offered packs of smaller sizes than if buying single large drink

Restricting soda servings may induce people to buy more soda than when offered larger sized drinks

People buy larger amounts of soda when purchasing packs of smaller drinks than when offered single servings of different sized drinks, according to research published April 10 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Brent M. Wilson and colleagues from the University of California, San Diego.

The researchers tested the effects of limiting sugary drink sizes on people’s soda consumption by offering them three kinds of menus. One menu offered 16 , 24 or 32 ounce sized individual drinks, a second gave them the choices of a 16 oz. drink, or bundles of two 12 ounce drinks or two 16 ounce drinks, and a third menu offered only individual 16 oz. drinks for sale. When participants made choices from these menus as they would in a fast food restaurant, people bought more soda from the menu with packs of 12 oz. or 16 oz. drinks than they did when offered individual sodas of different sizes. Based on the choices participants made, total business revenues were also higher when menus included packs of drinks rather than only small sized drinks.

The study concludes that when drink sizes are limited, businesses may have a strong incentive to offer packs of several small drinks rather than only individual servings. The authors suggest that restricting larger servings of sugary drinks in efforts to moderate may thus have the unintended outcome of increasing soda consumption rather than reducing it.

“Our research shows the New York City ban on large-sized drinks may have unintended consequences that policy makers need to consider.  Sugary drinks are a major source of business revenue, and businesses will adjust their menus in order to maximize profits,” says Wilson.

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Citation: Wilson BM, Stolarz-Fantino S, Fantino E (2013) Regulating the Way to Obesity: Unintended Consequences of Limiting Sugary Drink Sizes. PLOS ONE 8(4): e61081. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0061081

Financial Disclosure: These authors have no support or funding to report.

Competing Interest Statement: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

PLEASE LINK TO THE SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT (URL goes live after the embargo ends):  http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0061081

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Organic tomatoes accumulate more vitamin C, sugars than conventionally grown fruit

Contact: Souri Somphanith onepress@plos.org 41-562-412-17199 Public Library of Science

Biochemical properties of organic tomatoes may be different because of stressful growth conditions

Tomatoes grown on organic farms accumulate higher concentrations of sugars, vitamin C and compounds associated with oxidative stress compared to those grown on conventional farms, according to research published February 20 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Maria Raquel Alcantara Miranda and colleagues from the Federal University of Ceara, Brazil.

In their study, the researchers compared the weights and biochemical properties of tomatoes from organic and conventional farms. They found that tomatoes grown on organic farms were approximately 40% smaller than those grown by conventional techniques, and they also accumulated more compounds linked to stress resistance.

According to the authors, organic farming exposes plants to greater stress than conventional farming. They suggest that this increased stress may be the reason organic tomatoes had higher levels sugars, vitamin C and pigment molecules like lycopene, an anti-oxidant compound – all of which are associated with the biological response to stress. Based on these observations, the authors suggest that growing strategies for fruits and vegetables should aim to balance plant stress with efforts to maximize yield and fruit size, rather than trying to eliminate stress to increase yields.

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Citation: Oliveira AB, Moura CFH, Gomes-Filho E, Marco CA, Urban L, et al. (2013) The Impact of Organic Farming on Quality of Tomatoes Is Associated to Increased Oxidative Stress during Fruit Development. PLOS ONE 8(2): e56354. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056354

Financial Disclosure: Funding was provided by BNB-Fundeci, CAPES-REUNI, and CNPq/INCT – Frutos Tropicais. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interest Statement: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

PLEASE LINK TO THE SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT (URL goes live after the embargo ends).