Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Home environment variables and adolescent soft drink consumption

Soft-drink consumption is regarded as one of the important target behaviours for the prevention of excessive weight gain among adolescents. To be able to modify these behaviours in obesity prevention interventions, further understanding of the underlying factors and mediational pathways is required: why do adolescents drink soft drinks and what may help or motivate them to drink less? A study recently published online in Appetite journal  aimed to explore associations between home environment variables and adolescent soft drink consumption. The ENDORSE study data were used for this purpose and the study was a collaboration between researchers from the EMGO institute for Health and Care Research, the department of Public Health of Erasmus Medical Center and the Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research at Deakin University. We explored if  home environment variables such as home availability and accessibility of soft drinks, parental modeling, and parental rules regarding soft drink consumption of their adolescent children), as well as  the adolescents' intentions, attitudes, perceived behavior control, and perceived parental norm and habit strength regarding soft drinks were associated with their intake levels.  We found significant associations between the home environment variables and soft drink consumption and our results indicated that habit strength and intention were the strongest mediators. Intention and habit strength partly mediate the associations between home environment factors and soft drink consumption, suggesting that home environment variables influence soft drink consumption both indirectly and directly.