Background: Environmental and behavioral interventions hold promise to reduce sugar-sweetened beverage (SSBs) consumption.
Purpose: To test, among frequent SSB consumers, whether motivations to consume SSBs moderated the effects of (a) a workplace SSB sales ban (environmental intervention) alone, and (b) a "brief motivational intervention" (BI) in addition to the sales ban, on changes in SSB consumption.
Methods: We assessed whether (1) baseline motivations to consume SSBs (craving, psychological stress, or taste enjoyment) impacted changes in daily SSB consumption at 6-month follow-up among frequent (>12oz of SSBs/day) SSB consumers (N = 214); (2) participants randomized to the BI (n = 109) versus to the sales ban only (n = 105) reported greater reductions in SSB consumption at follow-up; and (3) motivations to consume SSBs moderated any changes in SSB consumption.
Results: In response to the sales ban alone, individuals with stronger SSB cravings (+1 SD) at baseline showed significantly smaller reductions in daily SSB consumption at 6-month follow-up relative to individuals with weaker (-1 SD) SSB cravings (2.5 oz vs. 22.5 oz), p < .01. Receiving the BI significantly increased reductions for those with stronger SSB cravings: Among individuals with stronger cravings, those who received the BI evidenced significantly greater reductions in daily SSB consumption [M(SE) = -19.2 (2.74) oz] than those who did not [M(SE) = -2.5 (2.3) oz, p < .001], a difference of 16.72 oz.
Conclusions: Frequent SSB consumers with stronger SSB cravings report minimal reductions in daily SSB consumption with a sales ban only, but report greater reductions if they also receive a motivational intervention. Future multilevel interventions for institutions should consider both environmental and individualized multi-level interventions.
Clinical trial information: NCT02585336.
Keywords: Brief intervention; Craving strength; Environmental intervention; Sugar-sweetened beverages.
© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Behavioral Medicine.