Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption by Adult Caregivers and Their Children: The Role of Drink Features and Advertising Exposure



Objective. To examine how parents’ beliefs about beverage attributes and exposure to sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) advertising are associated with parents’ and their children’s SSB consumption. Design. Cross-sectional representative telephone survey of Philadelphia parents in households with children between the ages of 3 and 16 years. Participants. Three hundred and seventy-one randomly selected survey respondents. The response rate was 27% using the American Association for Public Opinion Research RR3 formula. Main Outcome Measures. SSB consumption, health ratings of SSBs, exposure to SSB ads, and exposure to anti-SSB public service advertisements. Analysis. Seemingly unrelated regression was used to correct for Type I error and significance levels were set at .05 or less. Results. Assessment of SSB “healthiness” was associated with the increased adult consumption of SSBs for three of the five SSBs and associated with children’s consumption for all four SSBs with child consumption data. For both groups, ratings of SSB sugar and caloric content were not related to consumption. Adult exposure to SSB-specific advertising was related to consumption for three of five SSBs and two of four SSBs consumed by children. Conclusions and Implications. These results suggest that sugar and calories are not relevant to consumption, absent an explicit connection to a healthiness evaluation of SSBs.