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Efficacy of school-based interventions aimed at decreasing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among adolescents: a systematic review

  • Lydi-Anne Vézina-Im (a1) (a2), Dominique Beaulieu (a3) (a4), Ariane Bélanger-Gravel (a5) (a6), Danielle Boucher (a3), Caroline Sirois (a3) (a4), Marylène Dugas (a7) and Véronique Provencher (a1) (a2)...

To verify the efficacy of school-based interventions aimed at reducing sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption among adolescents in order to develop or improve public health interventions.


Systematic review of interventions targeting adolescents and/or the school environment.


The following databases were investigated: MEDLINE/PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL and EMBASE. Proquest Dissertations and Theses was also investigated for unpublished trials.


Adolescents were defined as individuals between the ages of 12 and 17 years.


A total of thirty-six studies detailing thirty-six different interventions tested among independent samples (n 152 001) were included in the review. Twenty interventions were classified as educational/behavioural and ten were classified as legislative/environmental interventions. Only six interventions targeted both individuals and their environment. Over 70 % of all interventions, regardless of whether they targeted individuals, their environment or both, were effective in decreasing SSB consumption. Legislative/environmental studies had the highest success rate (90·0 %). Educational/behavioural interventions only and interventions that combined educational/behavioural and legislative/environmental approaches were almost equally effective in reducing SSB consumption with success rates of 65·0 and 66·7 %, respectively. Among the interventions that had an educational/behavioural component, 61·5 % were theory-based. The behaviour change techniques most frequently used in interventions were providing information about the health consequences of performing the behaviour (72·2 %), restructuring the physical environment (47·2 %), behavioural goal setting (36·1 %), self-monitoring of behaviour (33·3 %), threat to health (30·6 %) and providing general social support (30·6 %).


School-based interventions show promising results to reduce SSB consumption among adolescents. A number of recommendations are made to improve future studies.

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