|The survey was carried out to evaluate the factors associated with consumption of soft drinks by pre-school children in Western province (Colombo district, Kaluthara district and Gampaha district), Sri Lanka. Here 73parents who are having pre-school aged children (aged between 4 to 6 years old) answered the following questions through questionnaire and face to face discussions: (1) Demographic characteristics of the survey respondents, (2) Overall idea about the child’s beverage intake, (3) Overall idea about the child’s soft drink intake and (4) Parent’s knowledge about the soft drink. Results reveal that: the most frequent consumed beverage was dairy products (median = 5) followed by fruit juices (median = 4), tea (median = 3) and soft drinks (median = 3). Children highly prefer to consume fruit juices (42.04%) and dairy products (37.50%) over soft drinks (17.04%). Parents prefer to give fruit juices (76.13%) to their children than dairy products (18.18%), soft drinks (17.04%) and tea. The main places where soft drinks were consumed were functions (50%) and at home (22.72%).The main reasons associated with soft drink intake were sweet taste (53.40%), recovering thirsty (17.04%), advertisements (10.22%), recommendation from friends (7.95) and color (5.68%). When purchasing the soft drinks were highly considered about availability and price. Not only that, most of the parents tend to buy soft drinks because of the child’s request. However considerable proportion of parents have no basic idea about the nutritional value (whether provide energy, nutritive or healthy) of soft drinks. In contrast they were aware on negative health impact of consumption of soft drinks. Even though majority of the parents don’t have the knowledge about the E numbers, they all have a better idea about the ingredient in soft drinks.
In conclusion, soft drinks which are avail¬able and consumed at different places, were popular among pre-school children and different motivational factors were affected for the choice of beverage. Furthermore they considered it as tasteful drink. Parents’ knowledge, involvement and child’s request are dominate factors for buying behavior and consumption pattern. Nutritional education progr|