Health Behavior & Communication

Incentives and communication strategies that influence behaviors affecting health. LDI Senior Fellows study financial and non-financial incentives that promote healthy behaviors, and how individuals and communities receive and exchange health information.

Taxes and Front-of-Package Labels Improve the Healthiness of Beverage and Snack Purchases: A Randomized Experimental Marketplace

May. 30, 2019

Rachel B. Acton, Amanda C. Jones, Sharon I. Kirkpatrick, Christina A. Roberto, David Hammond

Abstract [from journal]

Background: Sugar taxes and front-of-package (FOP) nutrition labelling systems are strategies to address diet-related non-communicable diseases. However, there is relatively little experimental data on how these strategies influence consumer behavior and how they may interact. This study examined the relative impact of different sugar taxes and FOP labelling systems on beverage and snack food purchases.

Methods: A total of 3584 Canadians 13 years and older participated in an experimental marketplace study using

...

Association of a Beverage Tax on Sugar-Sweetened and Artificially Sweetened Beverages With Changes in Beverage Prices and Sales at Chain Retailers in a Large Urban Setting

May. 14, 2019

Christina A. Roberto, Hannah G. Lawman, Michael T. LeVasseur, Nandita Mitra, Ana Peterhans, Bradley Herring, Sara N. Bleich

Abstract [from journal]

Importance: Policy makers have implemented beverage taxes to generate revenue and reduce consumption of sweetened drinks. In January 2017, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, became the second US city to implement a beverage excise tax (1.5 cents per ounce).

Objectives: To compare changes in beverage prices and sales following the implementation of the tax in Philadelphia compared with Baltimore, Maryland (a control city without a tax) and to assess potential cross-border shopping to avoid the tax in neighboring zip codes....

“Told”: the Word Most Correlated to Negative Online Hospital Reviews

Feb. 26, 2019

Anish K. Agarwal, Arthur P. Pelullo, Raina M. Merchant

Summary [from Penn Medicine News]

When analyzing reviews of hospitals on Yelp, Penn Medicine researchers found that the word most associated with negative reviews, including those rated at one-star, was “told,” which appeared in almost 20 percent of the posts. Published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the study points to the value patients and their...

Measles Outbreak Prompts States to Consider Stricter Immunization Laws

Feb. 13, 2019

With the ongoing measles outbreak in Washington, there has been increasing national attention to real-life consequences of vaccine-preventable diseases and vaccine hesitancy. Most of cases in this recent outbreak have been among unvaccinated individuals and children between the ages of 1 and 10 years. In the first month of 2019, the US has already seen 101 measles cases, on pace to exceed the 372 cases in 2018 and 120 cases in 2017.

Payment, Lying, and Research Eligibility

Jan. 31, 2019

Payment for research participation can raise ethical concerns and legal issues. But it can also raise scientific problems if it causes participants to lie about their eligibility or other things, like adverse events.

Financial Incentives for Achieving and Maintaining Viral Suppression Among HIV-positive Adults in Uganda: A Randomised Controlled Trial

Jan. 17, 2019

Harsha Thirumurthy, Alex Ndyabakira, Kara Marson, Devy Emperador, Moses Kamya, Diane Havlir, Dalsone Kwarisiima, Gabriel Chamie

Summary [from journal]

Background: Viral suppression among HIV-positive individuals is essential for protecting health and preventing HIV transmission. Financial incentives have shown promise in modifying various health behaviours in low-income countries but few studies have assessed whether they can improve HIV treatment outcomes. We aimed to determine the impact of time-limited financial incentives on viral suppression among HIV-positive adults in rural Uganda.

Methods: We did a randomised controlled trial in four rural Ugandan parishes....

Pages