Intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) has been found to be positively associated with weight gain among children and adolescents. In order to develop effective interventions aimed at reducing intake or preventing an increase in intake, a better understanding of the determinants of this dietary habit is needed.
To identify potential determinants of the intake of SSBs among children and adolescents.
The study is based on a review of the literature. Papers were obtained through PubMed and PsycINFO by combining key words such as “soft drink” and “children OR adolescents”. The search included all papers published from the databases were established to March 2008. Papers examining potential determinants of soft-drink consumption of children and adolescents were included.
Of the 856 papers examined, 40 papers matched the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. The factors showing the most frequent association with SSB consumption among children and adolescents, were the socio-demographic factors such as age/grade, gender and socioeconomic status. Also, availability at home and at school showed a clear association with increased consumption of SSB, as did behavioural factors such as TV-viewing and eating habits (i.e. fast food intake).
A lot of different factors were found to be potential determinants of SSB consumption among children and adolescents, yet some factors were studied more thoroughly and showed a clearer association with increased intake. Based on these findings, the following interventions could lead to decreased SSB consumption: Interventions aimed specifically at the socio-demographic groups that had a higher consumption (boys, teenagers, children with a low socioeconomic status), interventions that decrease the availability of SSB at home or at school, and interventions aimed at behavioural change among children (with the focus on TV-viewing and eating behaviours, i.e. fast food intake)