Dietary quality changes in response to a sugar-sweetened beverage-reduction intervention: Results from the Talking Health randomized controlled clinical trial

Valisa E. Hedrick, Brenda M. Davy, Wen You, Kathleen J. Porter, Paul A. Estabrooks, Jamie M. Zoellner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: The reduction of sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intake may be beneficial for weight management and other related health conditions; however, to our knowledge, no data exist regarding the spontaneous changes in other dietary components or the overall dietary quality after an SSB-reduction intervention. Objectives: We explored longitudinal changes within and between an SSB-reduction intervention (SIPsmartER) and a physical activity intervention (MoveMore) with respect to spontaneous changes in 1) energy intake and macronutrients and micronutrients, 2) dietary quality [Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI)], and 3) beverage categories. Design: Participants were enrolled in a 6-mo, community-based behavioral trial and randomly assigned into either the SIPsmartER (n = 149) intervention group or the MoveMore (n = 143) matched-contact comparison group. Dietary intake was assessed through a mean of three 24-h dietary recalls at baseline and 6 mo. Dietary recalls were analyzed with the use of nutritional analysis software. A multilevel, mixed-effects linear regression with intention-to-treat analyses is presented. Results: SIPsmartER participants showed a significant reduction in total SSBs (mean decrease: 2366 mL; P ≤ 0.001). Several spontaneous changes occurred within the SIPsmartER group and, compared with the MoveMore group, included significant HEI improvements for empty calorie, total vegetable, and total HEI scores (mean increases: 2.6, 0.3, and 2.6, respectively; all P ≤ 0.01). Additional positive changes were shown, including significant decreases in total energy intake, trans fat, added sugars, and total beverage energy (all P ≤ 0.05). Few dietary changes were noted in the MoveMore group over the 6-mo intervention. Conclusions: Intervention of the single dietary component SSB resulted in additional spontaneous and beneficial dietary changes. Interventions that target a single dietary change, such as limiting SSB intake to < 240 mL/d (<8 fl oz/d), may improve the overall dietary quality health and provide motivation to make additional dietary changes. This trial was registered at as Am J Clin Nutr 2017;105:824-33

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)824-833
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Added sugar
  • Beverages
  • Dietary intervention
  • Dietary quality
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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