Sugar Intake Through Beverages: A Longitudinal Study on the Influence of Peers and Parents on the Consumption of Adolescents’ Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

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The consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) is high among young adolescents. Worldwide, consumption-rates have been increased over the past decades. This high intake of SSBs is alarming, as it is positively associated with the rising prevalence of overweight and obesity in youth. This indicates the importance of reducing adolescents’ SSB consumption for health improvement. Since adolescents seems to have the highest sugar consumption, the aim of this study is to investigate which factors influence the high SSB intake of adolescents. Especially during early childhood, parents do have a great influence on the behaviour of their children. However, during adolescence peers seem to become more important influencers, since they spend an increasingly amount of time together. Both parents and peers were included in the study to investigate their association with adolescents SSB consumption. In this longitudinal study, two waves of data were collected with approximately a half year interval. Dutch adolescents from first and second year of high school participated (N = 716, for wave 1 and wave 2 together). Participants completed a questionnaire about their consumption of SSBs. The study indicated that both the SSB consumption of mothers and best friends was associated with consumption of SSBs among adolescents. However, these associations seemed to change during the school year. Maternal SSB consumption was related to the SSB consumption among adolescents at both T1 and T2. While best friends’ consumption only had an association with the consumption among adolescents at T2, so friends seemed to gain more importance during the school year. Keywords: sugar-sweetened beverages, adolescents, mothers, peers, modelling
Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen