Sugary drink consumption behaviours among young adults at university


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Abstract

Aim:Sugary drink consumption is associated with weight gain, and young adults are the highest consumers. To inform a university healthy beverage intervention, we studied the settings and the types and amounts of sugary drinks consumed by a sample drawn from the student population.Methods:Fifty university students (24 male) were recruited to keep records of all beverages consumed over four consecutive days. The records were analysed by gender, drink category and consumption setting.Results:Males drank marginally more sugary drinks than females (median daily intake of 526 mL compared with 300 mL, P = 0.06). Median energy intake from sugary drinks was 928 kJ for males and 481 kJ for females. Carbonated soft drinks and fruit-based drinks accounted for 64% of energy from sugary drinks for males; and fruit and sweetened milk-based drinks accounted for 68% of energy for females. Half of all sugary drink consumption occurred at home followed by social settings.Conclusion:Health promotion programmes aiming to reduce sugary drink consumption in this group would benefit from gender-differentiated strategies with respect to types of drinks consumed with a focus on the home and social settings.

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