Dr Inge Kersbergen

Dr Inge Kersbergen is an SSA academic fellow in the School of Health and Related Research at the University of Sheffield. Her research focuses on social and environmental influences on health behaviour, particularly alcohol consumption. She holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Liverpool, where she investigated how visual attention to alcohol warning labels and advertising is associated with drinking behaviour. In her postdoctoral work, Inge examined how reductions to the serving size of alcohol and food can be used to decrease alcohol consumption and energy intake. During her fellowship, she is developing this line of work further to investigate how the packaging size of alcohol sold in shops influences drinking behaviour and how we may harness this effect to reduce alcohol consumption.

Size reductions as nudge interventions to reduce alcohol consumption

Alcohol-related health and social problems place a major strain on the NHS and social services. Some of the most effective interventions to reduce alcohol consumption are those that do not require drinkers to be motivated to change behaviour. A promising avenue for exploration are so-called “serving size” interventions, which try to lower consumption through modifying glassware or packaging. I will present findings from a 3-year SSA funded fellowship that investigated how interventions that target the serving size of shop-bought alcohol might affect alcohol consumption. The first study (N = 94) investigated which product sizes are considered to contain a single drink and how size reductions to these drinks are associated with weekly alcohol consumption. The second study (N = 300) tested whether a pricing intervention that reduces the appeal of larger drinks reduces alcohol purchasing. The final study (N = 210) tested whether advising drinkers to reduce their drink size prompted them to reduce alcohol consumption over a 4-week period. I will discuss the potential for future interventions as well as possible barriers to intervention effectiveness.