Biomedical Research

Journal Banner

Health-risk behaviors associated with sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among Saudi young adults

Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) are a large source of added sugar in Saudi diets and are commonly consumed among 75% of Saudis, especially young adults aged 18-30 years. The present study aimed to identify the health-risk behaviors associated with SSBs (e.g., soft, and energy drinks) consumption among university students. This association was examined separately for male and female students. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 414 students (195 males and 219 females) at King Faisal University (KFU) in Al-Hasa, Saudi Arabia. Data were collected using a pre-tested, self-administered questionnaire. The prevalence of SSBs consumption was very high among students and varied between genders. Male students drank more SSBs than females, with soft drinks constituting the most common SSBs, followed by energy drinks. Greater soft drink consumption among male (OR 1.05, 95% CI 0.67 to 2.82) and female (OR 2.11, 95% CI 1.32 to 3.33) students was associated with more weekly fast food intake. Male students who consumed energy drinks were more likely to have fewer hours of sleep daily (OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.07 to 2.61), female students skipped breakfast more weekdays than males (OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.07-2.61). Future studies need to provide longitudinal evidence regarding SSB consumption and health behaviors to determine the direction of this relationship. We also need to know more about the clustering of health-risk behaviors related to SSB intake by gender for health comparison.

Author(s): Hala Hazam Al Otaibi, Sahar Mostafa Kamel