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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 713; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040713

Promoting Water Consumption on a Caribbean Island: An Intervention Using Children’s Social Networks at Schools

1
Faculty for Accounting, Finance and Marketing, University of Aruba, J.E. Irausquinplein 4, Oranjestad, Aruba
2
Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University, Montessorilaan 3, P.O. Box 9104, 6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 February 2018 / Revised: 29 March 2018 / Accepted: 8 April 2018 / Published: 10 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating and Exercise in Children and Adolescents)
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Abstract

Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption and the associated childhood obesity are major concerns in the Caribbean, creating a need for interventions promoting water consumption as a healthy alternative. A social network-based intervention (SNI) was tested among Aruban children to increase their water consumption and behavioral intention to do so and, consequently, to decrease SSB consumption and the associated behavioral intention. In this study, the moderating effects of descriptive and injunctive norms were tested. A cluster randomized controlled trial was completed in schools (mean age = 11 years ± SD = 0.98; 54% girls). Children were assigned to the intervention group (IG; n = 192) or control group (CG; n = 185). IG children were exposed to peer influencers promoting water consumption and CG children were not. Regression analyses showed that water consumption increased for IG children with a high injunctive norm score (p = 0.05); however, their intention to consume more water remained unchanged (p = 0.42). Moreover, IG children showed a decrease in SSB consumption (p = 0.04) and an increase in their intention to consume less SSB (p = 0.00). These findings indicate that SNIs are a promising instrument for health behavioral changes for Aruba and other islands in the Caribbean region. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aruba; Caribbean; children; health; PROCESS moderation analysis; social norms; cluster randomized control trial; social network; sugar-sweetened beverage consumption; water consumption Aruba; Caribbean; children; health; PROCESS moderation analysis; social norms; cluster randomized control trial; social network; sugar-sweetened beverage consumption; water consumption
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Franken, S.C.M.; Smit, C.R.; Buijzen, M. Promoting Water Consumption on a Caribbean Island: An Intervention Using Children’s Social Networks at Schools. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 713.

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