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Demographic Factors and Beverage Consumption Patterns: Health Literacy, Education, and Income Level
Ferguson, Katherine E.
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Over the past several decades, the prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased to 68% of American adults1. During this same time period, there has been an increase in sugar-sweetened beverage consumption. This increase in added sugar consumption, particularly from sugar-sweetened beverages, has been theorized as a possible contributor to the obesity epidemic2,3,4. Sugar-sweetened beverages are the number one source of added sugars in the American diet and organizations such as the American Heart Association have addressed this issue of added sugar consumption due to its association with negative health outcomes5. A variety of demographic factors have been linked to increased added sugar consumption6. Health literacy is another variable which may influence beverage consumption patterns, specifically sugar-sweetened beverage consumption. To date only one study has investigated this association, and the authors reported an inverse relationship between health literacy scores and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption7. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to determine what demographic variables serve as predictors of consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, water, milk, and total beverage calories. This could allow for appropriate interventions to be developed targeting healthier beverage consumption patterns in specific sub-populations.
- Masters Theses