Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Community Development and Applied Economics

First Advisor

Jane Kolodinsky


Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) are liquids sweetened with various forms of added sugar. They are the leading source of calories and added sugar in the American diet (Drewnowski & Rehm, 2014; National Cancer Institute, 2016; Powell, Chriqui, Khan, Wada, & Chaloupka, 2013). The health and nutrition literature has increasingly identified added sugars and SSBs as a key potential contributor to a host of public health issues including obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease (Johnson et al., 2009; Malik, Popkin, Bray, Despres, & Hu, 2010; Vartanian, Schwartz, & Brownell, 2007). Concern about these public health crises has recently animated regional and local campaigns to attempt to limit consumption of these items through taxes and other policies. These policy proposals have raised demand for information and research about the drivers and effects SSB and beverage consumption in general.

This study documents the major systems that have been used to categorize different types of SSBs and proposes a new beverage categorization typology – the Synthesized Beverage Categorization System – that cross references information from the What We Eat In America Food Categories and the Food Patterns Equivalents Database to offer the most precise SSB typology available today.

The remaining sections use reported dietary intake data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to analyze consumption patterns of sugary beverage subtypes in a number of ways. First this study lays the groundwork for future studies of beverage consumption by examining consumption patterns of major SSB subtypes for adults and children by a number of variables commonly used in dietary intake analysis. Second, this article provides an analysis of sociodemographic trends in the consumption of several major sugary-beverage subtypes by age group, race and gender. Finally, consumption patterns of conventional and “non-traditional” SSBs are provided for the last 4 NHANES data collection cycles to analyze recent trends in reported intake of calories and added sugars from sugary beverages.



Number of Pages

92 p.