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Knowledge of and attitudes to sports drinks of adolescents living in South Wales, UK

Fairchild, R.M., Broughton, D. and Morgan, Maria 2017. Knowledge of and attitudes to sports drinks of adolescents living in South Wales, UK. British Dental Journal 222 (12) , pp. 931-935. 10.1038/sj.bdj.2017.542

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Background The UK sports drinks market has a turnover in excess of £200 million. Adolescents consume 15.6% of total energy as free sugars, much higher than the recommended 5%. Sugar sweetened beverages, including sports drinks, account for 30% of total free sugar intake for those aged 11-18 years. Objective To investigate children's knowledge and attitudes surrounding sports drinks. Method One hundred and eighty-three self-complete questionnaires were distributed to four schools in South Wales. Children aged 12-14 were recruited to take part. Questions focussed on knowledge of who sports drinks are aimed at; the role of sports drinks in physical activity; and the possible detrimental effects to oral health. Recognition of brand logo and sports ambassadors and the relationship of knowledge to respondents' consumption of sports drinks were assessed. Results There was an 87% (160) response rate and 89.4% (143) claimed to drink sports drinks. 45.9% thought that sports drinks were aimed at everyone; approximately a third (50) viewed teenagers as the target group. Over two thirds recognised the brand logos, yet less than a third could identify brand ambassadors. About half were aware that dental erosion may result from consumption and approximately two thirds knew that they were linked to dental caries and energy provision. Despite this the majority claimed to drink them. As previously reported most of those drinking sports drinks did so because of the taste. Conclusion Whilst most of the respondents had some understanding of the detrimental effects on health the majority of them were drinking them regularly despite this knowledge. Work is therefore needed at a macro level, with soft drink manufacturers, to consider marketing and reformulation of products for adolescent consumers who appear to enjoy them.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Dentistry
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 0007-0610
Date of Acceptance: 1 March 2017
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2018 16:35

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