An educational intervention for improving the snacks and beverages brought to youth sports in the USA

Lori Andersen Spruance, Natalie Bennion, Gabriel Ghanadan, Jay E. Maddock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to test a small-scale intervention and its ability to decrease total sugar intake and number of calories offered at youth sports games.

METHODS: This study was a pre/post-test quasi-experimental design. A flier was developed and distributed to parents. The flier aimed to decrease the sugar-sweetened beverages and increase the nutritional quality of food brought to games. Baseline data were collected in 2018 ( n = 61). The flier was distributed prior to the start of the league, once during the league, and posted online in 2019. Postintervention data were collected in the intervention group ( n = 122) and a comparison group ( n = 74). Nutritional information was collected through direct observation.

RESULTS: The average amount of total sugar provided per game per child was 25.5 g at baseline when snacks/beverages were provided at games. After the intervention, the average amount of total sugar provided significantly decreased (16.7 g/game/child, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: The intervention reduced total sugar offered and the number of sugar-sweetened beverages brought to games. It was low-cost and could be easily implemented by public health practitioners and/or parks and recreation administrators. Further, considerations could be made to implement policies relative to snacks and beverages at youth sports games.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4886
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 4 2021


  • Sports
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Water
  • Youth
  • United States
  • Humans
  • Energy Intake
  • Youth Sports
  • Adolescent
  • Snacks
  • Beverages
  • Child
  • Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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