Sven Schneider, Jutta Mata, Philipp Kadel
Relations between sweetened beverage consumption and individual, interpersonal, and environmental factors: a 6-year longitudinal study in German children and adolescents

International journal of public health, 2020: 65, issue 5, pp. 559–570
ISSN: 1661-8556 (print), 1661-8564 (online)

Objectives This study aims to characterize the consumption of sweetened beverages (SB) among young people in Germany in terms of individual and interpersonal-environmental correlates.

A representative sample of children and adolescents from Germany was assessed twice, 6 years apart (total longitudinal sample n = 11,691 children and adolescents aged between 0 and 17 years old; weighted). The relations between individual and interpersonal-environmental factors at baseline with SB intake 6 years later were analysed using bivariate and multivariate methods.

The majority of children and adolescents in Germany consume sweetened beverages weekly, 23% daily. SB consumption is particularly high in boys and often accompanied by other unhealthy lifestyle behaviours including a high level of tobacco and media consumption with a concurrent deficiency in fruit and vegetable consumption. Interpersonal factors associated with higher sweetened beverage consumption include low socio-economic status, tobacco consumption of parents, and older maternal age.

Research on factors that correlate with sweetened beverage consumption is crucial to design effective interventions. Our findings underline the importance of complex, multi-level interventions to target sweetened beverage intake and obesity.