Teens are more likely to choose water over sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and fruit juice when easily understandable caloric information is available, according to a new study.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins posted one of three caloric information signs in four corner stores located in low-income, predominately black neighborhoods in Baltimore, MD, collecting data for 1,600 beverage sales to adolescents 12-18 years old.

Results showed that the signs reduced the odds of sugar-sweetened beverage purchases by 40 percent.

The signs read:

Did you know that a bottle of soda or fruit juice has about 250 calories?

Did you know that a bottle of soda or fruit juice has about 10 percent of your daily calories?

Did you know that working off a bottle of soda or fruit juice takes about 50 minutes of running?

"People generally underestimate the number of calories in the foods and beverages they consume," said Sara Bleich, PhD, assistant professor with the Bloomberg School's Department of Health Policy and Management. "Providing easily understandable caloric information—particularly in the form of a physical activity equivalent, such as running—may reduce calorie intake from sugar-sweetened beverages and increase water consumption among low-income black adolescents."

Researchers noted that the mandatory calorie labeling included in the recent health reform bill has made it important to explore the most effective strategies for presenting caloric information to consumers.

In response to the study a U.S. beverage industry group, the American Beverage Association, said its members are “already providing calorie information at the fingertips of consumers,” citing its “Clear on Calories” initiative.

“By placing new calorie labels on the front of every bottle, can and pack we produce, we're helping consumers - especially parents - choose the beverage that is best for them and their families, the American Beverage Association said in a statement.

The results of the Johns Hopkins study were published online ahead of print by the American Journal of Public Health.