A cross-regional comparative study was conducted to survey the drinking behaviors of university students, in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Macau. In particular, I tested students’ preference for bottled water over filtered tap water, in a context where the latter option is widely accessible, free of charge, and meets drinking standards. It was found that Singapore has a relatively low rate of bottled water consumption within the young population of university students, while in Hong Kong and Macau one-fourth of the students still drink bottled water more frequently than tap water. Using the Theory of Planned Behavior framework, the perceptions and factors that determine the choices were studied. In terms of determinants of the drinking water choices, “Safety and Hygiene” and “Convenience and Availability” ranked highest for all three regions. “Taste”, “Price”, and “Personal and Family Habits” were valued next by different subsamples. Respondents from Singapore rated relatively high in the accessibility of filtered tap water, safety of tap water transfer, and trust in government, and these factors are considerably significant in driving the result of having the lowest consumption of bottle water on campus. Gender and the behaviors of students who stay in campus dorms were also explored.
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.