Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake among College Students: A Socio-Ecological Model
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. College of Nursing Honors Theses; 2013
BACKGROUND: Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are the largest source of added sugar and an important contributor of calories in the American diet. On a typical day, 80% of youth and 63% of adults consume SSBs (CDC, 2010). Additionally, most young adults do not achieve the recommended daily physical activity of 60 min/day. This study examined the consequences of SSB intake among college students. The specific aims of this study were to determine the amount and frequency of SSB consumption by college students and investigate the association of SSB consumption with gender and class rank. METHODS: An exploration of health behaviors (physical activity) was conducted. A correlational design was used to study 82 college students recruited from a residence hall and college of nursing of a large midwestern university. Data was collected via beverage and health surveys. RESULTS: Compared to upperclassmen, students in their first or second year report drinking SSBs more frequently (t=4.45, p=.000) and more servings per day (t=4.28, p=.000). Compared to females, males did not differ in SSB consumption but drank more water per day (t=2.86, p=.008). Comparing actual BMI to perceived body image, most participants under-estimated their actual body size. Sixty percent of males but only 26% of females engaged in at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. CONCLUSIONS: Efforts to reduce SSB consumption patterns are needed for college students. Wellness initiatives and education on healthy weight status is needed. The contribution of SSBs to excess caloric intake and added sugar to weight gain and resulting health co-morbidities needs further exploration. Reducing SSB intake and increasing physical activity may be a targeted means to impact the weight status of college students.
Academic Major: Nursing
College of Nursing Undergraduate Research Fund
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