2012-2013 Research Projects
How does the consumption of Sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSB) affect the BMI of college students at the University of Kentucky?
Examine the relationship between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and BMI in college students at the University of Kentucky through a cross-sectional survey.
It is believed that students who drink more sugar-sweetened beverages will have higher BMI’s than students who drink less or no sugar-sweetened beverages.
Background: Over the past several years, more and more sugar-sweetened beverages are hitting the market and being consumed by Americans of all ages. The science behind sweetening these beverages is progressing and as a result, high fructose corn syrup has become the staple sweetener of such beverages. SSB consumption has increased over the past several decades in the US and has been linked to the similar rise in obesity rates among Americans. It is important to note that few research studies to date have examined the SSB trends in college students.
Methods: Data were collected from 60 college students (31 males and 29 females) ranging between the ages of 18 and 51 years old at the University of Kentucky. The self-reporting BEVQ survey was randomly distributed across campus to students in various locations, such as the Johnson Recreation Center, Common’s Market, and Blazer Café. The survey recorded the participants’ beverage intake (frequency and amount per occurrence). The data were analyzed using regression analyses and a T-test.
Results: The data concluded that 63% of participants did consume regular soda, 97% 65% consumed sweetened fruit juice, and 58% consumed sweet tea. 40% of the participants reported a BMI of 25 or greater, classifying them as overweight or obese, while 60% were normal weight with a BMI of 24.9 and under. The self reported data showed a weak correlation between frequency of regular soda consumption and BMI (r = 0.127) as well as sweetened fruit juice frequency and BMI (r = 0.118). A weak and negative correlation between frequency of sweet tea consumption and BMI was concluded (r = -0.135). When the three categories of SSB consumption frequency were grouped together and t-test was conducted, it was found that SSB frequency significantly affects BMI (p = 2.3588 E-127).
Conclusion: The results suggest that college students who have a higher frequency of SSB consumption have higher BMI’s than students who consume less or no sugar-sweetened beverages. It is likely that a frequent consumption of regular soda, sweet tea, or sweetened fruit juice alone is not as significant of an affecter of BMI as is the total consumption of the three types of SSB’s.