Background The obesity epidemic is a growing problem in this country. Many studies have been conducted in effort to unravel and derail the rise in obesity and overweight status among Americans. Strong evidence supports the notion that excessive sugar consumption is largely contributing to an increase in obesity and risk for many chronic diseases and conditions.

Objective This study assessed sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, knowledge of sugar-sweetened beverages, disease risk associated with consumption, and correlation between the knowledge and consumption among a sample of students at a large midwestern university. A cross-sectional, retrospective design with random sampling was utilized for this study.

Results This study has shown that while participants are aware of the disease risks associated with SSB consumption, no change in consumption was observed. Participants are aware of the links between SSBs and obesity and other chronic diseases. Knowing this information did not change the decision to consume SSBs. No correlation was noted when comparing knowledge to consumption. This study also revealed that while there is knowledge of disease risk, knowledge of SSB content and what constitutes a healthy beverage is unclear. Knowledge levels were low when asked about sugar content of certain SSBs, health benefits of low-sugar or sugar-free beverages, and health benefits of 100% juice. These results indicate that consumers may not be aware of the amount of sugar being consumed.


Mary Kramer

Committee Member

Emily Forsyth

Committee Member

Mark Windschitl

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Health Science


Allied Health and Nursing



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