This summary is based on the article published in the Journal of School Health: Piloting ‘‘Sodabriety’’: A School-Based Intervention to Impact Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption in Rural Appalachian High Schools (March 2014)
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Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are the largest source of added sugar in the US diet. In adolescents aged 12-19, these drinks account for 13% to 28% of total daily calories. Compared with other adolescents, those residing in Appalachia have the highest consumption rates of SSBs.
Using a Teen Advisory Council (TAC), a student-designed and student-led intervention was conducted at 2 high schools in a rural Appalachian county. Using repeated-measures models design with Bonferroni correction, data were collected on daily and weekly consumption of SSBs and of water at baseline, immediately post-intervention, and 30 days post-intervention. Vending machine surveys were completed.
The 186 participants reported purchasing SSBs from school vending machines (41.4%), cafeteria (36.5%), and school stores (7.7%). Daily SSB servings decreased from an average of 2.32 (SD=2.14) to 1.32 (SD=1.29) (p<.001). Weekly consumption decreased from an average of 4.30 (SD=2.40) days/week to 2.64 (SD=1.91) (p<.001). Water consumption increased 19% from baseline to immediately post-intervention.
Student-directed efforts to support behavioral change are feasible and effective at affecting individual lifestyle behaviors. Small and manageable changes may lead to net improvements in lifestyle behaviors.
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