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Demographic Groups Likely Affected by Regulating Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Portion Sizes


Smith, Natalie R.; Grummon, Anna H.; & Frerichs, Leah (2020). Demographic Groups Likely Affected by Regulating Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Portion Sizes. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 59(3), e135-9. PMCID: PMC7483901


Introduction: Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are a key driver of obesity. Portion size regulations typically limit the volume of unsealed SSB containers to 16 fluid ounces. These regulations could reduce SSB consumption, but whom these policies would affect remains unknown. We evaluated demographic groups likely affected by national portion size regulations modeled on policy language and scope from New York City (NYC) and California.
Methods: Data from adults (18-65 years, n=6,594) in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2013-16) was used to classify individuals as ‘likely affected’ if they consumed an SSB>16oz from a potentially regulated food source during at least one eating occasion. Two classifications of affected food sources were evaluated: 1) excluding convenience stores (NYC scope) and 2) including convenience stores (California scope). In 2020, analyses used logistic regression to examine associations between affected status and age (<35, >35 years), sex, race/ethnicity (non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic), education (no college degree, college degree), and income (<185%, >185% of Federal Poverty Line).
Results: Portion size regulations would affect 8.87% of adults (NYC scope) and 14.71% of adults (California scope). Regulations had a greater potential effect on adults who are <35 years, male, and without a college degree (all p-values<0.05). Differences between demographic groups would be larger in magnitude using California’s policy scope.
Conclusions: Portion size regulations would likely have greater effect for younger, male, and lower-education adults. Policy effects would likely be larger if these regulations are written to encompass more food sources.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Article Type


Year Published


Journal Title

American Journal of Preventive Medicine


Smith, Natalie R.
Grummon, Anna H.
Frerichs, Leah



Data Set/Study

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)


United States of America