The public health journal Preventive Medicine has published an evaluation of the NJ Sugarfreed campaign in its March edition. Run by the Public Good Projects, NJ Sugarfreed is a Nicholson-funded campaign to reduce sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption across New Jersey. The evaluation emphasized the success of the campaign's collective impact model – a combination of messaging, varied platforms for dissemination, and community-based participation – as a way of reducing unhealthy behaviors that deepen health disparities.
During the period of December 2017 to September 2018 the Public Good Projects implemented a statewide campaign, which included a "high dose intervention" in Passaic County, to encourage families to choose water over soda, fruit drinks, and other SSBs. The campaign targeted populations with high rates of SSB consumption, which has been linked to negative health outcomes including heart diseases, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and tooth decay.
Results were considered successful, finding a decrease in per capita sales of SSBs statewide (6 percent decrease) and in Passaic County (7 percent decrease) after the first nine months. In addition, post-evaluation surveys indicated key audiences’ changes in knowledge and attitudes toward SSBs.
Preventive Medicine is a renowned international scholarly journal that publishes original articles on the science and practice of disease prevention, health promotion, and public health policymaking.