Soft drink consumption of Grade 4 and Grade 7 learners in the Wynberg area, City of Cape Town, South Africa and the factors influencing the consumption
The objectives of the study were to determine the usual daily consumption of carbonated soft drinks among Grade 4 and 7 learners in a middle to lower socioeconomic urban area and the factors that influenced the consumption.
Soft drink consumption by learners was determined at two government schools in the Wynberg area (City of Cape Town). The cluster sample was 179 learners and comprised of 80 Grade 4 learners and 99 Grade 7 learners of mixed gender. A pilot tested questionnaire was used through group administration to gather the data.
The results indicated that the majority of the learners (93,3%) consumed soft drinks. The usual average soft drink consumption per learner (excluding non-consumers) per day was 783 ml±510 (2,3 servings). The major reasons provided for the consumption were, it was the learners’ favourite beverage (38,3%) and the taste (28,1%). Soft drinks were the beverage consumed most often (63,5%), the beverage most often bought at the tuck shop (64,1%) and the beverage most often consumed when eating out or with take-aways (64,7%). Advertising influenced the soft drink purchases of the majority (80%) of the learners.
In conclusion a high consumption of soft drinks was found for this learner group. The known factors predictive of children’s soft drink consumption were confirmed in this study.
Keywords: soft drinks, beverage consumption factors, beverage consumption, South African learners, favourite beverage, popular beverage