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Using a Socioecological Approach to Identify Factors Associated with Adolescent Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake

Published:April 22, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2020.01.019

      Abstract

      Background

      Adolescents are among the highest consumers of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) in the United States. More research is needed to understand the relationship of multiple levels of influence on adolescent SSB intake across the socioecological model in a nationally representative sample.

      Objective

      This secondary analysis of cross-sectional data aims to explain variance in adolescent SSB intake by exploring the associations of adolescent demographic (ie, age, race/ethnicity, and parent socioeconomic status), intrapersonal (ie, behavioral intention, self-efficacy, and media perception), interpersonal (ie, social norms and perceived parenting practices), and home availability variables.

      Design

      This study included 1,560 adolescents who participated in the 2014 National Cancer Institute-sponsored cross-sectional Family, Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating study. Descriptive statistics, analyses of variance, and stepwise multiple linear regression models were used to explore factors associated with SSB intake. In the stepwise regression, a 4-step model was analyzed with each subsequent step adding variables from different socioecological model levels.

      Results

      The final step that included 14 variables individually associated with SSB intake significantly predicted 16.5% of the variance in SSB intake. Four variables were associated with higher SSB intake in the final step when controlling for all other variables: male sex (β=.066), non-Hispanic black vs non-Hispanic white (β=.123), adolescent’s report of having parents allow them to have SSBs on a bad day (β=.150), and home SSB availability (β=.263). Race/ethnicity other than Hispanic and/or non-Hispanic black vs non-Hispanic white was associated with lower intake (β= –.092).

      Conclusions

      When considering potential targets for multilevel behavioral interventions aimed at reducing adolescent SSB intake, emphasis on reducing SSB availability at home may be especially important. Furthermore, although adolescence is a period of increasing independence, parent influence on adolescent’s health behaviors may also be a key intervention target. Home and parental SSB factors may be more important than targeting intrapersonal factors and social norms among adolescents.

      Keywords

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      Biography

      M. Yuhas is a postdoctoral associate, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia, Christiansburg, VA.

      Biography

      K. J. Porter is an assistant professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia, Christiansburg, VA.

      Biography

      J. M. Zoellner is an associate professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia, Christiansburg, VA.

      Biography

      V. Hedrick is an assistant professor, Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA.