Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Beth Senne-Duff


Maureen Rauschhuber


Cindy Heiss


Added sugar consumption has been increasing in all age groups in the United States and worldwide, with the greatest increase in young adults. College-age years are a critical period in the young adult's life where many habits develop, including nutrition and food choices. An understanding of college-age students’ attitudes and behaviors toward added sugar consumption might help predict added sugar consumption within this population. This was a quantitative study of traditional-aged college students' added sugar consumption through a convenience sample at a private university in San Antonio, TX. A survey was administrated to undergraduate students at different classes. Subjects were 18 to 24 years old, 72% females and 27.7% males. Results indicated that most participating students consumed one sugar-sweetened beverage daily or at least several times per week. Moreover, most participating students rarely/never chose a product based on the type of sweetener used. Only 11% of participating students mentioned that they tried to limit and avoid added sugars, however, 61% of those considered limiting sugar-sweetened beverages to help maintain a healthy weight. Furthermore, 56.5% of participating student declared that they were not aware of the American Heart Association (AHA) added sugar recommendations. Over half, 54.4%, of participating student reported that they were not aware of the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Similarly, 58.3% declared that they were not aware of the WHO added sugar limit recommendations and the associated health benefits. In conclusion, many students were not aware of their added sugar intake, and only a small percentage were aware of the added sugar limit recommendations. Variables that influence excess sugar consumption include taste preference, stress, and cost. Most of the students who consider the sugar content of the foods and beverages they buy do so to help maintain a healthy weight.