Year of Publication

2016

College

Public Health

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Mark Swanson, PhD

Committee Member

Robin Vanderpool, DrPH, CHES

Committee Member

Christina Studts, PhD

Abstract

Sugary drinks, including sports and energy drinks, are the number one source of added sugar in the American diet.1 Excess sugar consumption can lead to health complications such as overweight and obesity, and obesity-related chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.2 Sugary drink consumption among youth in Los Angeles is particularly high, and teenagers in Service Planning Area (SPA) 6 of Los Angeles have some of the highest consumption rates in the county, with one out of two reporting consuming at least one sugary drink per day.3 Based on the correlation between sugar consumption and health, these high rates put these individuals at increased risk for health complications later in life. Reducing the intake of sugary beverages will lead to a decrease in disease incidence, even if there is no weight loss and calorie consumption remains constant.4 Drink Switch is a proposed intervention that will target high school students at eight high schools in SPA 6 and aim to change healthy drink behavior through environmental change, classroom curriculum, and a peer-led social marketing component.

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