Sweetened soft drinks linked to preterm birth

August 30, 2012
Sweetened soft drinks linked to preterm birth
Illustration photo: Colourbox.com

Sweetened (sugar-sweetened and artificially-sweetened) drinks may be linked to preterm birth, according to a recent joint study between Norwegian and Swedish researchers. It is important to prevent preterm birth since it may lead to early death, diseases in infancy and childhood as well as long-term disability.

At the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) are analyzed to find the causes of preterm birth. Links to life style habits, diet, infections and are investigated. As yet, no strong factors that can explain why preterm birth occurs have been identified, but an association with body mass index and diet have been found.

In a similar Danish cohort, it was reported that artificially-sweetened, but not sugar-sweetened soft drinks were associated with a small increase in the risk of preterm birth. We have studied the same data in MoBa, and find that for those women drinking more than one daily serving of sugar- or artificially-sweetened drinks, there was a small increased risk of preterm delivery (before week 37 in pregnancy).

The women who consumed a higher amount of sugar and artificially-sweetened drinks were more likely to have a higher body mass index, a lower education, to be daily smokers or to be . The adjusted for the possibility that factors more common among those consuming , such as smoking, young age and high could explain preterm birth, but other similar factors could still be involved.

Although the Norwegian data confirmed the Danish findings regarding an association between artificially-sweetened drinks and preterm delivery, we cannot at the present stage claim that have a to preterm birth. While the Danish study only found an increased risk for artificially-sweetened beverages, we also found an increased risk for preterm birth for sugar-sweetened beverages. This difference gives reason for caution. More studies are needed, ideally as controlled trials, but in general, daily intake of sweetened drinks should be avoided.

The prospective study was a collaboration between researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Sahlgrenska University Hospital and Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg, Sweden. 60,761 pregnant women were included in this study. They completed three questionnaires during pregnancy about their lifestyle and diet. Data from their birth records in the Medical Birth Registry were linked to the MoBa database.

The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study is a unique longitudinal study that recruited more than 100,000 pregnant women in the years 1999-2008, collecting detailed questionnaire data and biological samples from the participants.

Explore further: Study finds residence in US a risk factor for preterm birth

More information: Association between intake of artificially sweetened and sugar-sweetened beverages and preterm delivery: a large prospective cohort study. Linda Englund-Ögge, Anne Lise Brantsæter, Margareta Haugen, Verena Sengpiel, Ali Khatibi, Ronny Myhre, Solveig Myking, Helle Margrete Meltzer, Marian Kacerovsky, Roy M Nilsen, and Bo Jacobsson. Am J Clin Nutr. published 1 August 2012, 10.3945/ajcn.111.031567

Related Stories

Study finds residence in US a risk factor for preterm birth

February 9, 2012
In a study to be presented today at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, in Dallas, Texas, researchers will report findings that indicate that duration of stay in the United States ...

Banning sugar-sweetened beverages in schools does not reduce consumption: study

November 7, 2011
State policies banning all sugar-sweetened beverages in schools are associated with reduced in-school access and purchase of these beverages, however these policies are not associated with a reduction in overall consumption ...

Recommended for you

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans

July 20, 2017
Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according ...

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.

High-dose vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles for children

July 18, 2017
Giving children high doses of vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles, a new study has found.

0 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.