British Journal of Nutrition

Full Papers

Dietary Surveys and Nutritional Epidemiology

The relationship between parental education and adolescents' soft drink intake from the age of 11–13 years, and possible mediating effects of availability and accessibility

Torunn H. Totlanda1 c1, Nanna Liena1, Ingunn H. Bergha2, Mona Bjellanda1, Mekdes K. Gebremariama1, Knut-Inge Kleppa1 and Lene F. Andersena1

a1 Department of Nutrition, University of Oslo, PO Box 1046 Blindern, NO-0316 Oslo, Norway

a2 Department of Coaching and Psychology, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, PO Box 4014, Ullevål Stadion, NO-0806 Oslo, Norway

Abstract

The present study examined the prospective relationship between parental education and adolescents' soft drink intake over 20 months, and possible mediating effects of adolescents' availability and accessibility of soft drinks at home. A total of 866 adolescents, with data on two time points in the Norwegian HEalth In Adolescents (HEIA) cohort study (2007–9), were included in the analyses. Data on intake and determinants of soft drinks were collected from adolescents and both parents by questionnaires. Mediation analyses using linear regression investigated the total and direct effects of parental education on adolescents' soft drink intake from the age of 11–13 years. In order to investigate prospective relationships, two models were set up to measure the (1) prediction and (2) change in consumption over 20 months. Possible mediation effects of availability and perceived accessibility at home were further examined in both models. The results showed that a lower level of parental education predicted a higher intake of soft drinks among adolescents after 20 months, and that higher perceived accessibility of soft drinks reported by adolescents and mothers explained 39 % of the total effect. No relationship was observed between parental education and the change in adolescents' intake of soft drinks over 20 months. Interventions aimed at families with low parental education should target the perceived accessibility of soft drinks at home in order to diminish social differences in adolescents' soft drink consumption.

(Received July 09 2012)

(Revised December 04 2012)

(Accepted December 04 2012)

(Online publication February 04 2013)

Key Words:

  • Sugar-sweetened beverages;
  • Socio-economic position;
  • Parental education;
  • Adolescents;
  • Mediation

Correspondence

c1 Corresponding author: T. H. Totland, fax +47 22 85 15 31, email t.h.totland@medisin.uio.no

Footnotes

  Abbreviations: HEIA, HEalth In Adolescents; M1, availability; M2, perceived accessibility by adolescents; M3, perceived accessibility by mothers; M4, perceived accessibility by fathers; T0, baseline survey; T2, 20 months' follow-up

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