Table 1

Categorisation framework for factual claims

Factual claim categoryDetail
1: Regulation does not workClaims that statutory approaches to regulating unhealthy products, in particular SSB taxes, do not have the intended benefits for public health, arguing that a policy will fail or has previously failed to reduce consumption of the target products.
1.1: The rationale for regulation is flawedClaims which do not directly refer to policy effects, but question the causal mechanisms underlying obesity and dietary NCDs which regulatory approaches seek to tackle, for instance, the link between obesity and/or NCDs and the target products.
2: Regulation will have unintended negative consequencesSome respondents went further to suggest that regulatory policies may have negative economic consequences or will even be counterproductive, for instance, increasing the consumption of other unhealthy products.
3: Alternatives to regulation work well/betterClaims that alternatives to regulation—information campaigns, self-regulation or co-regulation—would work equally well or better than regulation to address obesity or dietary NCDs. This forms an important pillar of a broader argument that regulatory policies are not needed.
3.1: Compliance with self-regulation or co-regulation is highStatements suggesting that industry compliance with self-regulation or co-regulation is high, thus implying positive effects without directly referring to public health outcomes.
  • NCDs, non-communicable diseases; SSB, sugar-sweetened beverage.