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Health Educ Res. 2003 Jun;18(3):278-91.

Understanding soft drink consumption among female adolescents using the Theory of Planned Behavior.

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  • 1Department of Health Promotion and Education, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92350, USA.


This study identified factors that influence regular soda consumption among 707 female students, aged 13-18 years, attending North Los Angeles County public high schools. Participants completed a group-administered Theory of Planned Behavior-based questionnaire. Almost all of the participants, 96.3%, reported that they currently drink soda; 50.1% reported drinking 2 glasses of soda or more per day during the past year. Students reported drinking regular soda more than diet soda and reported drinking phosphoric acid-containing soda more than non-phosphoric acid-containing soda. Attitude, subjective norm and perceived behavioral control had statistically significant positive associations with intention, and were each significant predictors of intention to drink regular soda and together explained 64% of its variance. The strongest predictor was attitude, followed by perceived behavioral control and subjective norm. Our results suggest that efforts to reduce soda consumption among female adolescents should include parents and friends. It is also important that soda should not be excessively available at home or widely accessible to teenagers at schools. Healthy eating messages for adolescents need to be developed and incorporated into existing and future campaigns to reinforce the perception that there are other healthier drinks that quench thirst and that taste good as well.

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