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UBC Undergraduate Research

HBI Institutional Responsibility : Sugar-Sweetened Beverages : Factors that Influence Motivation and Consumption, Correlates, and Interventions among University Students Lee, Ashley; Yu, David; Whang, Josh; Yu, Qian (Lynn); Yang, Zhi (Zee)


The consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) has been linked to negative consequences such as obesity, type II diabetes, elevated blood pressure, and coronary heart disease (5). Moreover, young adults consume the most SSBs compared to any other age group (3). These negative consequences and the high rates of SSB consumption among young adults show the need for interventions targeted at reducing SSB consumption. In order to facilitate these interventions, this study sought to examine what factors influence university students’ motivation and consumption of SSB. We distributed an online survey to 105 undergraduate students from the University of British Columbia (UBC) through social media platforms and in-person administration. Results demonstrate that seventy-eight students indicated taste as their primary motivator for SSB consumption while fourteen students indicated convenience/ease of access. Few students chose caffeine (n=4), nutritional content (n=2), and price (n=2) as their primary motivator. Moreover, students who consumed SSBs primarily for the taste had the highest levels of SSB consumption compared to any other condition. Correlates were also observed and there was a significant positive relationship between stress level and SSB consumption, a significant negative relationship between sleep duration and SSB consumption, and a nonsignificant relationship between perceived ill effects of SSB consumption and SSB consumption. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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