Parental Perceptions of the Effect of Beverage Consumption Related to Obesity and Dental Caries
thesisposted on 21.10.2015, 00:00 authored by Megan J. Van Lieshout
Objectives: The goal of our study was to determine if relationships exist between specific demographic groups, parental beverage consumption frequency, and dietary knowledge and/or perceptions regarding various beverages. We hypothesized that parents with low sugar sweetened beverage consumption are more likely than parents with intermediate or high consumption to display correct perceptions regarding the relative impact of beverages on weight gain and cariogenicity in children. Methods: Data collection occurred during eight non-consecutive weeks. Parents of patients 6-12 years old at the UIC pre- and post-doctoral pediatric dentistry clinics were invited to complete the survey. Participants received the study cover page and the 16-item questionnaire in their preferred language (English or Spanish). Questions aimed to capture parents’ own beverage consumption habits, as well as their understanding of beverage’s sugar content and impact of sugar on weight gain and dental caries. Results: Parents with low SSB consumption were no more likely to display correct perceptions than those with intermediate or high consumption. Respondents born in the US, have greater than a high school education, or completed an English survey identified more sugar-containing beverages correctly. More parents displayed agreement than disagreement with a relationship between ‘sugar and dental caries’ and ‘sugar and weight gain’, but more uncertainty regarding effects of diluted juice on weight and teeth. Conclusions: These findings suggest a need for more family nutritional guidance about the effects of SSBs on dental and overall health.