Research Banner


Research Updates | Other

Effect of a serving cap on sugary drinks

24 / 04 / 19

Finding: Health gain and health costs savings are predicted if all soft drink serves were limited to 250ml in New Zealand.


This study modelled the effects of reducing sugar sweetened beverage (SSB) serving size to 250ml for all single serve occasions using New Zealand National Nutrition Survey Data (2008/09). Both predicted health impact and health costs were estimated using a multi-state life-table model, based on change in energy intake and thus BMI. The ‘base case’ model (excluding fruit juices and flavoured milk) without compensation for reduced energy intake resulted in a decrease in SSB of 23ml and 44kJ per day (0.22kg weight modelled over two years). This was estimated to produce a health gain 82,100 QALYs (Quality Adjusted Life Years) and NZ$1.65 billion cost savings over the lifespan of the cohort (the NZ population alive in 2011). The researchers conclude that limiting serving sizes of SSB could be an effective part of obesity prevention strategies in high income countries.


Cleghorn C, Blakely T, Mhurchu CN et al. Estimating the health benefits and cost savings of a cap on the size of single serve sugar-sweetened beverages. Prev Med 2019;120:150-156