Social Networks and Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption in a Pediatric Urban Academic Practice

Carol Duh-Leong, Sandra Braganza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Increased sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption is linked to childhood obesity. The risk of increased SSB consumption is multifactorial. Limited studies have examined children’s SSB consumption and social networks. In order to examine the association between SSB consumption and SSB preferences of a child’s social network, a cross-sectional survey was administered to patients aged 8–17 years from June to September 2016. In a questionnaire, subjects completed a beverage consumption recall, identified people important to them along with each person’s favorite beverage, and answered questions about habits, environment, and attitudes. Subjects with higher SSB consumption (>16 fl oz) were compared to subjects with lower SSB consumption (≤16 fl oz). 202 surveyed: 55% female, 53% Hispanic, 45% Black, 28% overweight or obese. Children drank an average of 3 cups/day of SSBs, range of 0–15 cups/day. Social networks included caregiver, relative, and friend. Subjects with higher SSB consumption (n = 96) were compared to those with lower SSB consumption (n = 106). We found children with higher SSB consumption had higher odds of reporting a higher number of people in their immediate social networks who prefer SSB, adjusted for habits, environment, and attitudes (aOR 1.41; 95% CI: 1.02–1.99; p < 0.05). Children are more likely to have higher SSB consumption if they list people in their immediate social network who prefer SSB as their favorite drink. Further research is required to explore the influence of social networks on health behaviors of children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioral Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020


  • obesity
  • pediatrics
  • social networks
  • sugar-sweetened beverages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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