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Sodabriety: intervening against the impact of sugar-sweetened beverages


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)

Click here to read more about the implementation of the program

Courtesy of Wiley Publishing: You can access the full-text article for the next 3 months. 

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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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  1. Marielle Pariseau February 24, 2014

    With its student-designed and student-led intervention, this pilot project already had the most important elements for success: peer pressure.
    Earlier this month, the JAMA Internal Medicine published the results of a large epidemiological study linking added sugar intake to cardiovascular mortality in adults even in the absence of obesity. Sugar appears to be a bigger threat to health than fat.
    What could we, dentists do to stand up against sugar in such an effective way as sodabriety?

    1. Richard Anderson February 25, 2014

      We can add “Sodabriety” into our vernacular…

      1. Richard Anderson February 25, 2014

        Also, during our interactions with patients, they expect us to vilify sugar. We shouldn’t let them down.

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