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A cross-sectional observation on habitual non-alcoholic beverage consumption among adolescents from four Irish post-primary schools

  • Sophie Millar (a1), Megan O’Donoghue (a1) (a2), Breige McNulty (a1), Laura Kirwan (a1) (a2) and Aideen McKevitt (a1)...
Abstract
Abstract Objective

No up-to-date data on the dietary intake of Irish adolescents are available. The aim of the present pilot study was to obtain and compare cross-sectional information on habitual adolescent beverage consumption between four distinct post-primary schools in the Republic of Ireland, in 2014–2015.

Design

A cross-sectional observation study. A beverage consumption questionnaire was used to obtain data on beverage intake and influences on consumption.

Setting

Four post-primary mixed-sex schools in Ireland representing the following school classifications were selected for the study: urban fee-paying, urban disadvantaged, rural fee-paying and rural disadvantaged.

Subjects

Students (n 761) aged 12–18 years.

Results

Data were analysed by Kruskal–Wallis (non-parametric) ANOVA to compare the distribution of beverage consumption across the schools. Water was the most highly consumed beverage among students from all four schools (median 1425 ml/d). Students from urban and rural disadvantaged schools reported a significantly higher volume of carbonated beverage intake than students from fee-paying schools. Students from an urban disadvantaged school also reported a significantly higher volume of carbonated beverage and energy drink intake compared with the other three schools. Students from an urban fee-paying school reported the highest consumption of water, while rural disadvantaged school students were the biggest consumers of tea and milk.

Conclusions

Significant differences in beverage consumption (ml/d) were reported by adolescents from four schools in Ireland. Surveillance on current beverage consumption trends among adolescents is vital to guide policies and interventions, and for appropriate targeting of resources.

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Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: Email sophieannemillar@gmail.com
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