Program

Jun 11, 2013

OVERVIEW

Beverages and Student Health (BASH) is a program aiming to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages by providing adolescents and their families with non-caloric beverages. Adolescents and their families receive weekly home deliveries of non-caloric beverages for 25 weeks. Although an experimental evaluation found no significant difference in BMI between the two groups, a subgroup analysis, by weight status at baseline, found intervention participants in the higher baseline BMI threshold had significantly lower BMIs at follow-up compared with their similar baseline weight counterparts in the control group. There were no differences between the two study groups for middle and lower BMI thresholds.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Adolescents consuming at least one serving of sugar-sweetened beverages per day

Beverages and Student Health (BASH) is a program aiming to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages by providing adolescents and their families with non-caloric beverages. Adolescents and their families receive weekly home deliveries of non-caloric beverages, of their choosing, for 25 weeks. The number of beverages each household receives is based on the following calculation: four servings per day for the adolescent and two servings per day for each additional family member living in the household. Families also receive advice on how to avoid sugar-sweetened beverages when outside of the home and weekly phone calls to assess their satisfaction with their beverage choices and home deliveries – during these phone calls, families are provided with motivational counseling. In addition, families receive monthly mailings with educational messages of the effects of sugar-sweetened beverages on weight gain, tooth decay, and hunger, and to be aware of misleading beverage labels and advertising – refrigerator magnets are also mailed to families to reinforce the message, “Think Before You Drink.”

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Evaluated population: A toal of 103 adolescents 13-18 years of age, with an average age of 16 years, were recruited from a local high school to participate in the study.  Approximately 55 percent of participants were female and approximately 64 percent were non-white.  Participants were excluded if they had a BMI below the 25th percentile, were currently dieting, or were taking prescription medication affecting weight.  There were no significant differences between groups in demographics or anthropometrics (BMI, height, and weight).

Approach: Participants were randomly assigned to the intervention group (N=53) or the control group (N=50).  Control group participants were asked to proceed with their typical beverage consumption behavior for the whole 25-week intervention period.  Following study completion, those in the control group received weekly deliveries of non-caloric beverages for four weeks as a token of appreciation for having participated in the research study.

Participants were assessed on height and weight measurements, to calculate Body Mass Index (BMI), at baseline and follow-up. Participants were also given “surprise” phone calls, on four separate occasions (two at baseline and two at the end of the intervention), to assess self-report 24-hour dietary and physical activity.

Results: At follow-up, there was no significant difference in BMI between the two groups. However, a subgroup analysis, by weight status at baseline, found intervention participants in the higher baseline BMI threshold had significantly lower BMIs at follow-up compared with their similar baseline weight counterparts in the control group. There were no differences between the two study groups for middle and lower BMI thresholds.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Ebbeling, C.A., Feldman, H.A., Osganian, S.K., Chomitz, V.R., Ellenbogen, S.J., & Ludwig, D.S. (2006). Effects of decreasing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption on body weight in adolescents: A randomized, controlled pilot study. Pediatrics, 117(3), 673-680.

KEYWORDS: Adolescents (12-17), Youth (16+), High School, Males and Females (Co-Ed), Home-based, Parent or Family Component, Nutrition, Obesity

Program information last updated 5/14/2012