Online Program

Racial disparities in sugar consumption and behavioral modification efficacy among male first-year college students

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 1:10 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Marino Bruce, PhD, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
Bettina Beech, DrPH, MPH, School of Population Health, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS
Roland Thorpe Jr., PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Derek Griffith, PhD, Center for Research on Men's Health, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
BACKGROUND: Over 35% of the collegiate population (18 to 25 years old) is obese. This prevalence rate is more than double the target prevalence cited in Healthy People 2020. Although the causal agents of obesity are multi-factorial, sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and sugary snacks are likely contributors to excess weight gain, particularly among college students. The purpose of this study was to examine racial patterning of SSB intake, sugary snack consumption and self-efficacy associated with reducing sugary food and beverage intake among male college students.

METHODS: A self-administered, cross-sectional survey was completed by a sample of freshmen (n=202) at a large urban southern university. Key variables of interest were SSB intake, snack consumption, and self-efficacy in reducing consumption of SSBs and sugary snacks.

RESULTS: Descriptive analyses depict racial patterns of sugar consumption. Caucasian males had the highest percentage (46.6%) of daily consumption of sugared soda or tea. African American males had the highest proportion of students drinking at least 1 serving of kool-aid/lemonade (30.1%) or fruit juice (30.1%) daily. The results from logistic regression models suggest that self-efficacy to reduce sugary snack and beverage intake among males vary by race. African American males were less likely to assert confidence in their ability to change behaviors associated with SSB and sugary snack consumption.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that weight loss and weight prevention interventions targeting young African American males require components that can elevate self-efficacy of this group to make behavioral modifications that reduce sugar consumption and their risk for obesity-related diseases.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss racial differences in self-efficacy that can have implications for obesity disparities among males.

Keyword(s): Health Disparities/Inequities, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator of federally and foundation funded grants focusing on the social, psychological, and behavioral factors impacting the health of African American males across the life span. I have conducted this research to develop strategies to reduce poor health outcomes among African American and other minority males.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.