09 October 2018

Soft drinks for lunch? Self-control, intentions and social influences

This research explored associations between food-related self-control, intentions, descriptive peer norms, parents’ healthy eating guidance and adolescents’ consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) in a school lunch setting.  Intentions were found to be the strongest predictor of adolescents' SSB consumption. Avoidance and descriptive peer norms appeared to also have some impact on SSB, though these were weaker predictors. The authors suggested that future studies consider developing guiding principles on how to create health-promoting eating intentions in adolescents, how to deal with peer norms related to foods and beverages and how to avoid tempting stimuli in the environment. Such strategies may be helpful when structural changes in the environment are not feasible.