Misperceived norms and personal sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and fruit and vegetable intake among students in the United States.
Sommaire de l'article
Perceptions of peer food and beverage consumption norms may predict personal consumption. Yet actual peer norms may be misperceived. Data were collected from adolescents in grades 6-12 (n = 5841) in 13 schools across six regionally diverse states via an anonymous online survey. The male and female averages for the number of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) personally consumed per day were significantly lower than average perceptions of the typical number of SSBs consumed by peers. Inversely, the male and female averages for the number of fruit and vegetable (FV) servings personally consumed per day were significantly higher than average perceptions of typical FVs consumed by peers. Among the majority of male and female grade cohorts, the median SSB consumption was 1 drink per day and the median FV intake was 3 servings per day. Regression analyses found a strong relationship between personal consumption and perceived peer norms about male and female consumption (β = 0.56, p < .001 for perceived male norm among male students and β = 0.52, p < .001 for perceived female norm among female students about SSB consumption, for example), adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics and actual consumption norms. Overall, 65% and 67% of students overestimated average SSB consumption among males and females in their grade cohort, respectively, while less than 5% underestimated these norms. In addition, 49% and 52% of students underestimated average FV intake among males and females in their grade cohort, respectively, while only about 25-30% overestimated the norm. There was little difference in male and female students' estimations of peer norms. Unhealthy misperceptions of SSB norms and FV norms existed across all student categories and grade cohorts, which may contribute to unhealthy personal dietary patterns.