Attitudes toward sweetened soft drinks and consumption patterns among Saudi women: A cross-sectional study

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Eating Behaviors


Although sweetened soft drink consumption (SDC) has negative consequences on health, this dietary habit is common among the Saudi population (Saudi Arabia). Food selection and consumption are complex behaviors and associated with several constructs described by social cognitive theory. This study assessed the pattern of sweetened SDC and its associated behavioral and theoretical factors, with focus on attitude and expectations related to SDC among Saudi women. Participants (n = 773) answered an online questionnaire on SDC patterns (frequency of consumption and quantity) and attitudes influencing those patterns. Association of attitudes with frequency of sweetened SDC was assessed using Spearman's test that revealed a positive and significant association between frequency and quantity of SDC (Spearman's rho = 0.34, df = 771, p <.0001). Highest correlations were observed between frequency of consumption and positive attitudes toward the perception of sweetened soft drinks as indispensable while eating, enjoyable, and value indispensable during social gathering (Spearman's rho = 0.58, 0.55 and 0.40, respectively, df = 771, p <.0001). Multiple regression analysis of attitudes showed considering soft drinks enjoyable and essential at eating were positively associated with consumption. Saudi Women are consuming soft drinks at high rates despite self-reporting this behavior as unhealthy. Social cognitive factors could potentially be predictors of unhealthy dietary behaviors among Saudi women. Designing nutrition education campaigns and culture-tailored information is warranted.



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