Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Epidemiology and Biostatistics


Speechley, Mark

2nd Supervisor

Gilliland, Jason



Childhood obesity is a major public health concern and has been attributed to poor diet, among other factors. Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption, in particular, has been linked to excess weight gain in childhood, while water consumption is a protective factor. Taking advantage of the Water Does Wonders theme of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge, an initiative by the provincial government to promote water consumption, this thesis uses pre-post surveys of children aged 8-14 years to examine (a) the association between knowledge and beverage consumption habits, and (b) the effectiveness of a school- based education and environment intervention to reduce SSB and/or increase water consumption in elementary school children. Results suggest a significant positive association between knowledge and healthy beverage intake, however no discernable differences in water and SSB consumption or knowledge following the intervention were observed. Future research should explore how best to translate the knowledge-practice link into sustainable behavioural change.