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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 137-142

Self-reported knowledge, attitude and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among undergraduate oral health students at a university in South Africa

Department of Community Dentistry, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Correspondence Address:
Ahmed Bhayat
Department of Community Dentistry, University of Pretoria, Pretoria
South Africa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_306_17

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Aims and Objectives: This study assessed the knowledge, attitude and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and its association with body mass index (BMI) among undergraduate oral health students. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional design was used and the study was conducted at a South African dental university. Undergraduate dental and oral hygiene students (n = 344) registered in 2015 were invited to participate. A self-administered questionnaire was used to elicit the necessary information. Data analysis included frequencies and correlations using Chi-square tests. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05. Results: The response rate was 88% (301) and the mean age was 22.3 years (range: 17–42; standard deviation ±3.2). The majority were female (72%) and 70% of respondents had an acceptable level of knowledge on the types of SSBs and possible health conditions if consumed excessively. Almost half (46%) had a positive attitude toward the consumption of SSBs. Clinical students had a significantly higher level of knowledge compared to nonclinical students (P = 0.03). Participants consumed an average of six teaspoons (±9.5) of sugar from SSBs daily. Those with poor knowledge and attitude consumed significantly more SSBs (P < 0.01) than those with higher levels of knowledge and attitude. Males were significantly more obese and overweight than females (P < 0.01). There was no association between the amount of sugar consumed from SSBs and the BMI. Conclusions: The knowledge and attitude toward SSBs was acceptable. Although sugar consumption from SSBs was relatively high, there was no significant correlation between the consumption of SSBs and the BMI.

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