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Parent and Home Environmental Factors in Adolescent Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

Published in: Academic Pediatrics, [Epub January 2017]

Posted on RAND.org on March 14, 2017

by Laura M. Bogart, Marc N. Elliott, Allison J. Ober, David J. Klein, Jennifer Hawes-Dawson, Burton O. Cowgill, Kimberly E. Uyeda, Mark A. Schuster

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Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are key contributors to obesity among youth. We investigated associations among parental and home-related factors (parental attitudes and consumption; home availability) regarding three types of SSBs — soda, sports drinks, and fruit-flavored drinks — with consumption of each type of SSB in a general school-based sample of adolescents.


Data were collected across three school semesters, from 2009–2011. A total of 1,313 seventh-grade student-parent dyads participated. Students completed in-class surveys across 9 schools in a large Los Angeles school district; their parents completed telephone interviews. Youth were asked about their SSB consumption (soda, sports drinks, and fruit-flavored drinks), and parents were asked about their attitudes, consumption, and home availability of SSBs.


We estimated expected rates of youth SSB consumption for hypothetical parents at very low (5th) and very high (95th) percentiles for home/parental risk factors (i.e., they [a] consumed little, had negative attitudes, and did not keep SSBs in the home, or [b] consumed a lot, had positive attitudes, and did keep SSBs in the home). Youth of "lower-risk" parents (at the 5th percentile) were estimated to drink substantially less of each type of beverage than did youth of "higher-risk" parents (at the 95th percentile). For example, youth with higher-risk parents averaged nearly double the SSB consumption of youth of lower-risk parents (2.77 vs. 1.37 glasses on the previous day; overall model significance F22,1312=3.91, p<.001).


Results suggest a need to focus on parental and home environmental factors when intervening to reduce youths' SSB consumption.

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