Characteristics Associated with Purchasing Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Bottled Water Among U.S. Households, 2015
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Characteristics Associated with Purchasing Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Bottled Water Among U.S. Households, 2015

Public Access Version Available on: January 01, 2025, 12:00 AM
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  • Alternative Title:
    J Acad Nutr Diet
  • Personal Author:
  • Description:

    Frequent intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) among U.S. adults is a public health concern, because it has been associated with increased risks for adverse health outcomes such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. In contrast, drinking plain water (such as tap, bottled, or unsweetened sparkling water) instead of drinking SSBs might provide health benefits by improving diet quality and helping prevent chronic diseases. However, there is limited information on estimated expenditures on SSBs or bottled water among U.S. households.


    This study examined differences in SSB and bottled water purchasing according to household and geographic area characteristics and estimated costs spent on purchasing SSB and bottled water from retail stores among a nationally representative sample of U.S. households.


    This study is a secondary analysis of the 2015 Circana (formerly Information Resources Inc. [IRI]) Consumer Network Panel (CNP) data, which were merged with the USDA nutrition data using the USDA Purchase-to-Plate Crosswalk-2015 (PPC) dataset (the latest available version of the PPC at the time the study began), and the Child Opportunity Index 2.0 (COI) data.


    A total of 63,610 households, representative of the contiguous U.S. population, consistently provided food and beverage purchase scanner data from retail stores throughout 2015.

    Explanatory variables

    The included demographic and socioeconomic variables were household head’s age, marital status, highest education level, race and ethnicity of the primary shopper in the household, family income relative to the federal poverty level, and presence of children in the household. Additionally, descriptors of households’ residential areas were included, such as the county-level poverty prevalence, urbanization, census region, and census tract level Child Opportunity Index.

    Main outcome measures

    Annual per capita spending (USD) on SSB and bottled water and daily per capita SSB calories purchased.

    Statistical analysis

    Unadjusted and multivariable adjusted mean values of the main outcome measures were compared by household demographic, socioeconomic, and geographic characteristics using linear regression analysis including Circana’s household projection factors.


    Nearly all households reported purchasing SSBs at least once during 2015 and spent on average $47 (interquartile range [IQR]: $20) per person per year on SSBs, which corresponded to 211 kcal (IQR: 125 kcal) of SSBs per person per day. About 7 in 10 households reported purchasing bottled water at least once during 2015 and spent $11 (IQR: $5) per person on bottled water per year. Both annual per capita SSB and bottled water spending, and daily per capita SSB calories purchased was highest for households whose heads were between 40–59 years of age, had low household income, or lived in poor counties, or counties with a low Child Opportunity Index. Annual per capita spending was also higher for households with never married/widowed/divorced head, or at least one non-Hispanic Black head, and households without children, or those living in the South. Daily per capita SSB calorie purchases were highest for households where at least one head had less than a high school degree, households with at least one Hispanic or married head, and households with children or those living in the Midwest.


    These findings suggest that households that had lower socioeconomic status had higher annual per capita spending on SSBs and bottled water and higher daily per capita total SSB calories purchased than households with higher socioeconomic status.

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