Evaluation of a campaign to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in New Jersey

Erika Bonnevie*, Orville Morales, Sarah D. Rosenberg, Jaclyn Goldbarg, Maggie Silver, Ellen Wartella, Joe Smyser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Obesity is a leading cause of premature death in the U.S., in part due to consumption of sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs). In New Jersey, African Americans, Hispanics, and those of low income have the highest rates of SSB consumption. This study evaluates the impact of NJ Sugarfreed, a campaign designed to reduce sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption across New Jersey. From 12/1/17–9/30/18, we used a collective impact model to create targeted statewide campaigns that reduce SSB consumption among New Jersey residents, with an emphasis on African American and Hispanic low-income mothers/caregivers who are often gatekeepers to children's SSB consumption. Passaic County, New Jersey received a higher dose intervention. Messages were disseminated through social media, partner organizations, and community partnerships. Campaign impact was examined through evaluation surveys and analysis of beverage sales. Baseline and follow-up surveys (n = 800 baseline; n = 782 follow-up) showed positive trends toward decreased soda consumption and increased knowledge about SSBs. Passaic respondents showed a 5% decrease in those who consume 1+ soda per day, compared to a 1% decrease among New Jersey respondents. Analysis of overall SSB beverage sales showed the most pronounced decreases in Passaic (7% decrease) compared to New Jersey (6%). By drawing upon best practices in message development and the use of various platforms for dissemination, combined with community-based participation, we have provided more evidence to support the use of a collective impact model as a way of reducing unhealthy behaviors that impact health disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106062
JournalPreventive medicine
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Collective impact
  • Community interventions
  • Mass media campaigns
  • Obesity prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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