Community-based sugar-sweetened beverage intervention associated with short-term improvements in self-rated oral health

Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2021 Aug;49(4):362-368. doi: 10.1111/cdoe.12610. Epub 2021 Jan 3.


Objectives: To assess the efficacy of a community-based childhood obesity prevention intervention targeting Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption on self-rated oral health among children and their parents/caregivers.

Methods: This study is a secondary analysis of data from a pilot site-randomized intervention (H2 GO!) targeting SSB consumption and obesity risk among children. The 6-week SSB behavioural intervention was implemented in two Massachusetts Boys and Girls Club sites that were matched for size and racial/ethnic composition. Children ages 9-12 years and their parents/caregivers were eligible to participate. Data on self-rated oral health and sociodemographics were obtained via self-report surveys at baseline, 2 and 6 months. Generalized linear mixed regression models were used to estimate 2- and 6-month change in oral health associated with the intervention.

Results: Data are from 100 child participants (46% female; 38% Black, 20% Hispanic, 13% White, 12% Multiracial, 11% Asian) and 87 parent participants (78.2% female; 37.9% Hispanic, 29.9% Black, 14.9% Asian, 10.3% White). At baseline, 47% of child participants rated their oral health as good, followed by very good (32%), fair (11%) and excellent (10%). Among parents, 46.3% rated their oral health as good, followed by very good (29.3%), excellent (9.8%), fair (9.7%) and poor (4.9%). The intervention was associated with 2- and 6-month improvements in child participants' mean self-rated oral health scores (β = 0.78; 95% CI: 0.48, 1.087; P < .001; β = 0.98; 95% CI: 0.61, 1.34; P < .001, respectively) and with 2-month improvements in parent participants' mean self-rated oral health (β = 0.42; 95% CI: 0.016, 0.82; P = .042).

Conclusion: Short-term improvements in oral health among children and their parents/caregivers were observed among those participating in a SSB behavioural intervention. Community-based behavioural programmes targeting SSB consumption may be a promising approach to promote oral health as well as prevent childhood obesity.

Keywords: childhood obesity intervention; oral health; sugar-sweetened beverage consumption.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Beverages
  • Child
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oral Health
  • Pediatric Obesity*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Sugar-Sweetened Beverages*