When adults with diabetes attempt to drink less soda: Resulting adult-child interactions and household changes

Helena H. Laroche, Michele Heisler, Jane Forman, Michael Anderson, Matthew M. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine adult-child interactions related to soda consumption in families where 1 inner-city African-American or Latino adult with diabetes is attempting lifestyle changes. Methods: The study used semistructured individual interviews of adults and a child (age 10-17) in their home. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, coded and analyzed for themes. Results: We completed 28 interviews (14 adult-child pairs). Most adults in this group reduced or stopped drinking nondiet soda. Some parents included their children in that change by removing nondiet soda from the household and by delivering messages regarding soda to their children. Some children obtained soda outside the home. Sweetened fruit drinks remained in some households even after nondiet soda was removed. Nonetheless, many children reported adjusting to the lack of soda in the household and a lower intake of nondiet soda and sweetened fruit drinks, in contrast to continued high consumption of sweets and fried food. Conclusions: These in-depth family interviews suggest that interventions intended to change adult consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages may also benefit their children, and this hypothesis merits further investigation in larger studies. A new diabetes diagnosis may motivate adults toward dietary change and provide opportunities to improve overall family health. Healthcare providers should emphasize decreasing availability of soda for everyone in the home.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1004-1011
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Children/adolescents
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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