Sugary drinks weigh heavily on teenage obesity

March 26, 2014

New research shows sugary drinks are the worst offenders in the fight against youth obesity and recommends that B.C. schools fully implement healthy eating guidelines to reduce their consumption.

Data from the 2008 Adolescent Health survey among 11,000 grade seven to 12 students in British Columbia schools indicates sugary drinks like soda increased the odds of obesity more than other foods such as pizza, , chips and candies.

The study, published today in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, found that students in schools where sugary drinks were available consumed them more often and were more likely to be obese on the BMI scale.

"This study adds to the mounting literature that shows the high concentration of sugar in contributes to obesity in adolescents," says lead author Louise Mâsse, an associate professor in the University of British Columbia's School of Population and Public Health, and a scientist at the Child & Family Research Institute at BC Children's Hospital.

In 2005, the B.C. government released guidelines for healthy eating that suggested not be sold in schools, but Mâsse says full implementation is necessary to help address trends.

"Schools have an important role in promoting healthy dietary habits," says Mâsse. "For example, students who are moderate consumers of these types of beverages were 60 per cent less likely to consume them in the schools that followed healthy nutrition guidelines.

"Creating an environment within the school that is more conducive to will likely provide the greatest benefit in supporting healthy weights among adolescents."

Explore further: U.S. schools throwing the book at unhealthy drinks

More information:

Related Stories

Sugary sports drinks plentiful at U.S. schools: study

August 6, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Although fewer middle and high schools in the United States make sugary sodas available to students today, other sweet beverages, particularly sports drinks, are still widely available, according to a new ...

Black students drink more soda when available at school

May 15, 2013

The availability of sugar-sweetened or diet soda in schools does not appear to be related to students' overall consumption, except for African-American students, who drink more soda when it's available at school, finds a ...

Recommended for you

A metabolic master switch underlying human obesity

August 19, 2015

Obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges of the 21st century. Affecting more than 500 million people worldwide, obesity costs at least $200 billion each year in the United States alone, and contributes to potentially ...

Scientists probe obesity's ties to breast cancer risk

August 20, 2015

Obesity is a well-known risk factor for breast cancer, but researchers haven't figured out what connects the two. A new study suggests the link may be due to a change in breast tissue structure, which might promote breast ...

Can a new drug brown the fat and trim the obese person?

May 28, 2015

New research has found that a variant of a drug used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension prompts weight loss in obese mice. Among mice fed a high-fat diet, those who did not get the medication became obese while medicated ...


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.