Using a Socioecological Approach to Identify Factors Associated with Adolescent Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake

Maryam Yuhas, Kathleen J. Porter, Valisa Hedrick, Jamie M. Zoellner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Adolescents are among the highest consumers of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) in the United States. More research is needed to understand the relationship of multiple levels of influence on adolescent SSB intake across the socioecological model in a nationally representative sample. Objective: This secondary analysis of cross-sectional data aims to explain variance in adolescent SSB intake by exploring the associations of adolescent demographic (ie, age, race/ethnicity, and parent socioeconomic status), intrapersonal (ie, behavioral intention, self-efficacy, and media perception), interpersonal (ie, social norms and perceived parenting practices), and home availability variables. Design: This study included 1,560 adolescents who participated in the 2014 National Cancer Institute-sponsored cross-sectional Family, Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating study. Descriptive statistics, analyses of variance, and stepwise multiple linear regression models were used to explore factors associated with SSB intake. In the stepwise regression, a 4-step model was analyzed with each subsequent step adding variables from different socioecological model levels. Results: The final step that included 14 variables individually associated with SSB intake significantly predicted 16.5% of the variance in SSB intake. Four variables were associated with higher SSB intake in the final step when controlling for all other variables: male sex (β=.066), non-Hispanic black vs non-Hispanic white (β=.123), adolescent's report of having parents allow them to have SSBs on a bad day (β=.150), and home SSB availability (β=.263). Race/ethnicity other than Hispanic and/or non-Hispanic black vs non-Hispanic white was associated with lower intake (β= –.092). Conclusions: When considering potential targets for multilevel behavioral interventions aimed at reducing adolescent SSB intake, emphasis on reducing SSB availability at home may be especially important. Furthermore, although adolescence is a period of increasing independence, parent influence on adolescent's health behaviors may also be a key intervention target. Home and parental SSB factors may be more important than targeting intrapersonal factors and social norms among adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1557-1567
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Adolescent
  • Home environment
  • Parenting
  • Socioecological factors
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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