Background: The high prevalence of overweight and obesity in children is closely correlated with the increasing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs).The purpose of this study was using the theory of planned behavior(TPB) to explain intent to consume SSBs among secondary school students.
Materials and Methods: This descriptive-analytical (cross-sectional) study wasconducted on 416 secondary school students selected using multi-stage cluster sampling. Data collection instrument was a three-part questionnaire including students' characteristics with 4 items; students' beliefs toward SSBs based on the TPB with 13 items; and the amount of daily consumption of SSBs and water with 2 items. The collected data were analyzed using descriptive and analytical tests, Pearson’s correlation coefficient and linear regression in the SPSS (version 22.0).
Results: The results showed that the average age of the participants was 13.91 ± 0.78 years. The prevalence rate of overweight and obesity in students was reported 21.6%. The amount of SSB use among students was unsatisfactory (3.87 glasses per day), while daily water consumption was reported 1.75 glasses per day. In addition, the findings indicated that students' attitude and perceived behavioral control (P<0.001) had a statistically significant association with intent to reduce consumption of SSBs, and those constructs explained 27% of variance of students' intention.
Conclusion: Among the variables related to the TPB, attitude and perceived behavioral control were effective factors on students' intention toward consumption of SSBs. Hence, by using the present findings, health care providers can plan, implement and evaluate suitable interventions to reduce the consumption of SSBs in students.