Saturday, January 2, 2010

Potential determinants of sugar sweetened beverage consumption

Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption may increase risk for unnecessary weight gain. At least there is quite some evidence from observational studies that indicates that higher intakes of SBB is associated with higher risk for overweight and obesity. To develop interventions discouraging consumption, more insight is needed about possible behavioural determinants that drive SBB consumption. In a recent publication in the British Journal of Nutrition Nicole Ezendam and colleagues describe a study on cognitive and environmental predictors of reducing SSB consumption. The paper describes the relationship between potential cognitive determinants of change (attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioural control and intentions) and perceived environmental factors (family food rule regarding SBB consumption and home availability of SSB) with changes in SSB consumption between baseline and 4-month follow-up among 12-13 year olds in the city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The study also explored whether the relationships between the environmental factors and SSB consumption are mediated by the cognitive determinants. The results show that a high perceived behavioural control to lower intake was associated with a decrease in consumption of SSB. Low home availability and a stricter family food rule were also associated with a decrease in consumption between baseline and follow-up. The association between home availability and decreased intake was mediated by perceived behavioural control to drink less. The results indicate that interventions to decrease SSB intake should focus on improving attitudes and perceived behavioural control to reduce intake, and on limiting home availability and stimulating stricter family food rules regarding SSB consumption.