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Pakistan Journal of Nutrition
Year: 2019  |  Volume: 18  |  Issue: 5  |  Page No.: 401 - 407

Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Soft Drinks Among Saudi Adults: Assessing Patterns and Identifying Influencing Factors Using Principal Component Analysis

Nada Benajiba and Samira M. Mahboub    

Abstract: Background and Objective: Previous studies showed that the Saudi population is one of the largest consumers of soft drinks in the Middle East. However, most of these studies explored patterns with very little focus on the factors that influence soft drink consumption. The present study aimed to identify factors associated with sweetened soft drink consumption in Saudi adults and the association between different factors using principal component analysis (PCA). Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed from July-September 2016 in Saudi Arabia, in which 1,194 eligible adult Saudi participants answered an online questionnaire. Data were collected on the amount and frequency of soft drinks consumed and factors that can influence consumption. All responses were categorized using a 5-points Likert scale. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS and PCA was performed using orthogonal rotation with a varimax option to identify influencing factors. Results: Sixteen percent of the participants reported that they consumed soft drinks daily or frequently (3-6 times/week). The correlation coefficient between frequency and quantity of consumption was R2 = 0.39 (p<0.0001). Barlett’s test was significant and the KMO test was 0.8. PCA revealed two components with approximately 56.1% combined variance: 14.7% constituted “individual” grouping factors of eating at home and watching TV/electronic device use and 41.4% were attributable to “social-environmental” grouping factors, such as availability, affordability, advertising and social gathering. Conclusion: Patterns of sweetened soft drinks consumption in adult Saudis were complex and influenced by socio-environmental and individual factors. A comprehensive approach focusing on these factors is needed to limit soft drink consumption.

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