Soft drink consumption and its influence on BMI and academic performance among selected school children in Dhaka city of Bangladesh
Soft drink refers to sugar-sweetened beverages that contain a natural or artificial flavoring. Daily soft drinks consumption in children is an unhealthy lifestyle behavior that demands special attention to maintain their healthy lives. The present study was aimed to examine the consumption of soft drink and its influence on BMI, and academic performance among selected school children in Dhaka City of Bangladesh. This cross-sectional study was nested among 600 randomly selected young school-aged children (6-17 years, both boys and girls) from the six English Medium schools in Dhaka city of Bangladesh. Face-to-face interviews were conducted to collect the data using a semi-structured interviewer-administered questionnaire. Descriptive and bivariate analyses were done using SPSS 20.0. Results showed that about 48% of the school children consumed soft drinks regularly. Raised weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) was higher among regular soft drink consumers compared to their counterparts (p<0.05). Study revealed that girls (49%) consumed more artificial color soft drinks than boys (30%). On bivariate analysis, the availability (p<0.01) and accessibility of soft drinks (p<0.01), peer influence (p<0.01), low price (p<0.01) and advertisement (p<0.01) were established to be significant determinants for soft drink consumption among the young school students. Study findings showed that academic performance was better among non-consumers of soft drinks (p<0.001). The overall consumption of soft drinks is alarming among school children and its influence on increasing BMI and decreasing academic performance. The high consumption of soft drinks deserve due attention to avoid the development of non-communicable diseases. Therefore, well coordinated health education programs are recommended to minimize the consumption of soft drinks among school children.
Soft Drinks Consumption; School Children; BMI; Academic Performance; Overweight/Obesity; Bangladesh
Md Shahjahan, M Z Hossain, T Khatun, S Hossain, H A Rashid, K R Ahmed