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Food Nutr Res. 2011;55. doi: 10.3402/fnr.v55i0.5819. Epub 2011 Apr 19.

Less-healthy eating behaviors have a greater association with a high level of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among rural adults than among urban adults.

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  • 1Program for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities, Department of Social and Behavioral Health, School of Rural Public Health, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College Station, TX, USA.



Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption is associated with the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity in the United States; however, little is known about how less-healthy eating behaviors influence high levels of SSB consumption among rural adults.


We assessed the frequency of SSB consumption among rural and urban adults, examined the correlates of frequent SSB consumption, and determined difference in correlates between rural and urban adults in a large region of Texas.


A cross-sectional study using data on 1,878 adult participants (urban=734 and rural=1,144), who were recruited by random digit dialing to participate in the seven-county 2006 Brazos Valley Community Health Assessment. Data included demographic characteristics, eating behaviors (SSB consumption, frequency of fast-food meals, frequency of breakfast meals, and daily fruit and vegetable intake), and household food insecurity.


The prevalence of any consumption of SSB and the prevalence of high consumption of SSB were significantly higher among rural adults compared with urban counterparts. The multivariable logistic regression models indicated that a high level of SSB consumption (≥3 cans or glasses SSB/day) was associated with demographic characteristics (poverty-level income and children in the home), frequent consumption of fast-food meals, infrequent breakfast meals, low fruit and vegetable intake, and household food insecurity especially among rural adults.


This study provides impetus for understanding associations among multiple eating behaviors, especially among economically and geographically disadvantaged adults. New strategies are needed for educating consumers, not only about how to moderate their SSB intake, but also how to simultaneously disrupt the co-occurrence of undesirable eating and promote healthful eating.


fast-food consumption; household food insecurity; rural; sugar drinks; sugar-sweetened beverages

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