The role of environmental cues in sugar-sweetened beverage consumption using a temporal self-regulation theory framework
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Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption is related to adverse health outcomes such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes. The present research further examined the utility of the temporal self-regulation theory in predicting sugar-sweetened beverage consumption. In addition, the research aimed to identify salient cues that trigger intake. Two-hundred and eighty-seven participants were recruited using convenience sampling in US and Australian populations. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were used, and the final model accounted for 27.1% of the variance in consumption, providing partial support for the temporal self-regulation theory (ƒ2 = 0.37). Intention accounted for a significant 7.0% of variance (R2 = 0.07, p < .001), behavioural prepotency variables (past behaviour, habit, and cues) together combined for an additional 15.1% of variance (R2 = 0.15, p < .001), but neither measure of self-regulatory capacity (trait self-control, inhibition) was a significant predictor. No cues emerged as unique predictors, however the findings suggest that consumption may be influenced by a combination of cues across different situations. Behavioural prepotency moderated the intention-behaviour relationship such that as behavioural prepotency increased, the greater the influence intention had on behaviour. Further support for the role of both intention and automatic processes in sugar-sweetened beverage consumption was garnered, but more research is needed to identify when specific cues influence consumption most.
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