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A Qualitative Study of Adolescent Views of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes, Michigan, 2014


This figure depicts results from focus group discussions conducted at a middle school in Romulus, Michigan, June 2014. Themes are organized by Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) constructs and habit. Themes for each TPB construct and habit are depicted. Attitudes about SSBs were that they have “too much sugar”, provide energy, cause disease, taste good, and are a way to reward yourself. Attitudes about SSB taxes were that fewer people will buy them, “addicted” people will buy SSBs despite the tax, good if the tax will give the government money, will need to carry more change, and concerns about soda companies and stores. Subjective norms were referents (mom, friends, doctors, siblings); students felt that attitudes reflected personal consumption and that motivation to comply would depend on message delivery and referent modeling. Beliefs about perceived behavior control were that having a reason to change and being aware of possible substitutions would make it easier. They also realized that their home environment influenced consumption. Behavioral intentions were that students intended to buy less with a tax and were aware of possible substitutions. Students equated habit with addiction for others; identified days, times, and foods that were tied to habit; and realized that habit would make change hard.

Figure. Adolescents’ perceptions of the impact of a 20% sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) tax, Romulus, Michigan, June 2014.

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Page last reviewed: May 5, 2016