A Brief Intervention to Reduce Sugar Consumption on College Campuses
Rossi, James Joseph
Background: Research suggests that high sugar consumption is linked to a variety of health complications, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Previous research also suggests that adolescents and young adults (ages 16-19) are the highest consumers of sugar and SSB's. Previous interventions featuring either psychoeducation, implementation intentions, and corrected perceptions of peer sugar consumption (norms) have been successful in helping various populations engage in more healthful behaviors. Additionally, data from earlier research on a 90-minute sugar reduction workshop with college students appeared to reduce sugar consumption at a follow up. This study sought to determine the effectiveness of this intervention with the use of a control group. Methods: One hundred and twenty-six undergraduates were randomly assigned to either a control group or a group designed to receive the intervention to reduce their sugar consumption. The study also set out to measure the impact of factors thought to moderate (health literacy, health orientation, and hedonic hunger) the impact of the intervention and mediate (health literacy, corrected perceived peer sugar consumption) the impact of the intervention. Participants completed measures of sugar consumption at baseline and at one-month follow up. Results: There were no significant differences between the intervention group and the control group with regards to sugar or SSB consumption at one-month follow-up. There was a trend towards reduced SSB consumption in both the intervention and control groups. Health literacy was positively associated with overall daily sugar intake at baseline and was positively associated with study completion. Attrition was high (42%) and was related to the use of a peer versus a graduate student facilitator and lower health literacy scores at baseline. Meditation and moderation were unable to be determined given the lack of intervention effect. Perceptions of peer sugar consumption were significantly and positively related to participant's own SSB consumption, but not overall sugar consumption. Overall, this sample tended to underestimate the levels of peer sugar consumption and reported significantly less overall sugar consumption than previous samples. Discussion: Participants in the current sample appeared to consume less sugar than nationally representative age-matched samples from 10 years ago. Selection and cohort effects are discussed. It is possible that individuals are consuming less sugar than in the previous decade, and this may be due to increased awareness and understanding of the effects of sugar consumption. Future research should further examine the health impacts of these potential reductions, as well as assess the current needs of college students based on up-to-date health behavior data.
Rossi, James Joseph. (November 2019). A Brief Intervention to Reduce Sugar Consumption on College Campuses (Doctoral Dissertation, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/7606.)
Rossi, James Joseph. A Brief Intervention to Reduce Sugar Consumption on College Campuses. Doctoral Dissertation. East Carolina University, November 2019. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/7606. February 28, 2021.
Rossi, James Joseph, “A Brief Intervention to Reduce Sugar Consumption on College Campuses” (Doctoral Dissertation., East Carolina University, November 2019).
Rossi, James Joseph. A Brief Intervention to Reduce Sugar Consumption on College Campuses [Doctoral Dissertation]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; November 2019.
East Carolina University