New study says soft drink consumption not the major contributor to childhood obesity

Most children and youth who consume soft drinks and other sweetened beverages, such as fruit punch and lemonade, are not at any higher risk for obesity than their peers who drink healthy beverages, says a new study published in the October issue of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. The study examined the relationship between beverage intake patterns of Canadian children and their risk for obesity and found sweetened beverage intake to be a risk factor only in boys aged 6-11.

"We found sweetened drinks to be dominant beverages during childhood, but saw no consistent association between patterns and ," says lead author Susan J. Whiting. "Food and beverage habits are formed early in life and are often maintained into adulthood. Overconsumption of sweetened beverages may put some children at increased risk for overweight and obesity. Indeed, boys aged 6-11 years who consumed mostly soft drinks were shown to be at increased risk for overweight and obesity as compared with those who drank a more moderate beverage pattern."

The authors determined patterns among Canadian children aged 2󈝾 years using cluster analysis where sociodemographics, ethnicity, household income, and food security were significantly different across the clusters. Data were divided into different age and gender groups and beverage preferences were studied. For this study the sweetened, low-nutrient beverages, categorized according to Canada's Food Guide, consisted of fruit-flavoured beverages, beverages with less than 100% fruit juice, lemonades, regular soft drinks, and sweetened coffees or teas.

The authors found the main predictors of childhood obesity in Canadian children were household income, ethnicity, and household food security.

More information: Danyliw, A.D., Vatanparast, H., Nikpartow, N., and Whiting, S.J. Beverage patterns among Canadian children and relationship to overweight and obesity. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 37(5) doi: 10.1139/ H2012-0074. [This article is available Open Access at www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/H2012-074]

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sweetened beverage consumption increases in the US

Dec 11, 2008

Over the past two decades, the number of adults consuming sugar-sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, fruit drinks and punches has increased dramatically, according to a study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg ...

Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages could yield sweet results

May 13, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages a penny-per-ounce could reduce consumption and generate significant revenue, finds a study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University and the Bridging ...

Recommended for you

The hunt for botanicals

Dec 19, 2014

Herbal medicine can be a double-edged sword and should be more rigorously investigated for both its beneficial and harmful effects, say researchers writing in a special supplement of Science.

Mozambique decriminalises abortion to stem maternal deaths

Dec 19, 2014

Mozambique has passed a law permitting women to terminate unwanted pregnancies under specified conditions, a move hailed by activists in a country where clandestine abortions account for a large number of maternal deaths.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.