Evaluating the implementation and customer acceptability of a sugar-sweetened beverage reduction initiative in thirty Australian aquatic and recreation centres

Tara Boelsen-Robinson, Alethea Jerebine, Ariana Kurzeme, Beth Gilham, Oliver Huse, Miranda R. Blake, Kathryn Backholer, Alexandra Chung, Anna Peeters

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Objective: To assess the feasibility of implementation, and customer perspectives of, a sugar sweetened beverage (SSB) reduction initiative across YMCA Victoria aquatic and recreation centres. Design: Two data sources were used to assess implementation and customer acceptability. Photo audits were used to assess the type of drinks available for purchase six months prior to initiative implementation and 6 months after, in 30 centres. Change in the range of SSBs targeted for removal, non-targeted SSBs, as well as drinks classified as red' (limit), 'amber' (choose carefully) and 'green' (best choice), were reported. Customer surveys were conducted in three centres to assess acceptability and awareness of the initiative. Inductive and deductive thematic analysis was used to analyse customers' perspectives of the initiative. Setting: 30 aquatic and recreation centres in Victoria, Australia Participants: 806 customers Results: Post-implementation, 87% of centres had removed targeted SSBs. 'Red' drinks reduced by an average of 4.4 drink varieties compared to pre-implementation (11.9 varieties) and 'green' drinks increased by 1.4 varieties (3.2 varieties pre-implementation). Customers were largely unaware of the SSB-reduction initiative (90%) but supported YMCA Victoria in continuing the initiative (89%), with many believing it would support children in making healthier choices. Conclusions: Implementation of an initiative that limited SSB availability across a large number of aquatic and recreation centres was feasible and considered acceptable by customers. Customers frequently mentioned the importance of protecting children from consuming SSBs.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

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