Background: Soft drinks are one of the most consumed non-alcoholic beverages throughout the world, and have substantial public health consequences. It has become a highly visible and controversial public health and public policy issue. Soft drinks are viewed by many as a major contributor to multi-system problems like Obesity, DM, Calcium deficits, dental caries, mental disorders and other health problems. In addition to this, several recent research evidence supports a positive link between soft drinks and depressive symptoms. However, data thus far are only from Caucasian populations and it needs further research based investigations. We have investigated whether high levels of consumption of soft drinks are associated with the depressive symptoms among university students, Ethiopia.
Method: The sample was selected by using proportionate simple random stratified sampling technique. Descriptive cross sectional study was conducted to assess the factors associated with soft drink consumption and the depressive symptoms, among Hawassa university students, Ethiopia, 2007E.C.
Objective: To assess the depressive symptoms associated with over consumption of soft drinks among Hawassa university students in Hawassa University, Ethiopia.
Results: A total of 300 students were interviewed with a response rate of 100%. Most of the respondents were in age between 20-24 years (84.7%), Unmarried (89.3%), Orthodox (58%), urban (62.7%) and Amhara (35%). Seventy one percent of total respondents had habit of consumption; out of which only 15% consume on usual bases, and most of them had been taking for more than three years. Miranda, coca cola and Pepsi were the most preferred brands of soft drink. The most common depressive symptoms were feeling loss of interest in activities, Changes in weight, Feelings of incapacity, fatigue or weakness related to activities, and worrying about minor matters. Depressive symptoms were found to be significantly favored by habit of soft drink consumption, frequency of consumption and preferred time for consumption with respective p-value of 0.001 at 95% CI. The prevalence of depressive symptoms were 77% among habitual consumers and 46% among none or rare consumers. Only 9% had no depressive symptoms among those who took soft drinks every day.
Conclusion: Moderate level of consumption was observed among this population which could be significantly linked with some depressive symptoms. Those who take soft drinks once or more times a day would be more likely develop depressive symptoms, and they tend to develop more severe depression as amount increases. However, any consumption of one to six times per week is also likely to contribute some depressive symptoms.
Cite this article:
Sailaja Busi, Gezahegn Bekele. Assessment of depressive symptoms related to overconsumption of soft drinks among university students, Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia. Int. J. Nur. Edu. and Research 3(4): Oct.-Dec., 2015; Page 393-399. doi: 10.5958/2454-2660.2015.00029.0