People may end up drinking as much or more soda when they are offered smaller beverage sizes, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego. Their findings suggest that bans on individual large-size sodas, such as proposed in New York City, wouldn’t necessarily mean that people would consume less.
For the study, 100 undergraduate students were given one of three drink menus. The first offered 16-, 24-, or 32-ounce soft drinks; the second menu offered a 16-ounce soda, a bundle of two 12-ounce drinks, or a bundle of two 16-ounce drinks; the third offered only 16-ounce sodas. Although the bundled drinks added up to the same price as a single serving with the same number of total ounces, students were more likely to buy the packs of smaller sodas than an individual soda of the same overall size.