The association between home environmental variables and soft drink consumption among adolescents. Exploration of mediation by individual cognitions and habit strength
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Soft-drink consumption is one of the important target behaviours for the prevention of excessive weight gain among adolescents. To be able to modify these behaviours in obesity prevention interventions, further understanding of the underlying factors and mediational pathways is required. The present study aimed to explore associations between home environment variables and adolescent soft drink consumption and potential mediation of these associations by individual cognitions derived from the Theory of Planned Behaviour and habit strength. The ENDORSE study (N=1005) provided data on soft drink consumption and on home environment variables related to soft drink consumption (availability, accessibility, parental modelling, and parental rules), cognitive variables (intention, attitude, perceived behaviour control, and parental norm) and habit strength. Multiple mediation analyses were conducted using regression analyses according to the steps described by MacKinnon to assess the association between home environment variables and soft drink consumption and mediation of these associations by cognitive variables and habit strength. The bootstrapping method was used to calculate the confidence intervals. There were significant associations between the home environment variables and soft drink consumption. After inclusion of the mediators the strength of these associations was reduced. In the multiple mediator models, habit strength (39.4-62.6%) and intention (19.1-36.6%) were the strongest mediators. Intention and habit strength partly mediate the associations between home environment factors and soft drink consumption, suggesting that home environment variables influence soft drink consumption both indirectly and directly.