Study finds soft drinks present in the home drive up consumption in school children

March 18, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—Primary and secondary school students are five times as likely to be high consumers of sugar-sweetened drinks, such as soft drinks, if these drinks are available in their homes, according to a University of Sydney study published in the journal Preventive Medicine today.

The study, which used data from the 2010 Schools and Nutrition Survey (SPANS), found alarming levels of soft drink in school aged children, especially those with easy access to these drinks.

Half (52 percent) of the 8058 students surveyed were boys and 59 percent were . The authors of the study found students were more likely to be high consumers of if they were from a lower socio-economic background or were boys.

Lead author and accredited practising dietitian, Lana Hebden from Sydney Medical School said the study indicated strong associations between ' access to soft drinks at school or in the home and increased consumption. "We also found students who drank soft drink with meals at home were almost 10 times as likely to be high consumers of these drinks," she said.

"Parents need to consider what is stored in their cupboards or fridge and what their children have access to."

The authors also found students who usually purchased soft drinks from their school canteen were three times as likely to be high consumers.

"While there is a mandate from 2007 that schools should not sell sugar-sweetened drinks, such as soft drinks, at school, this policy is not monitored or policed," Ms Hebden said.

"Primary and should be supported and encouraged to follow policy guidelines in their state regarding bans on the sale of sugar-sweetened drinks from the school canteen and .

"Reducing consumption of soft drinks has been a focus of public health nutrition strategies internationally. These drinks provide substantial kilojoules/calories, but little further nutrition. Consumption of these drinks has been associated with body weight gain in youth, dental caries in young children and elevated blood pressure, insulin resistance and lower bone mineral density in adolescents."

The study authors call for clear information to be made available to parents on limiting their children's access to sugar-sweetened drinks at home. This includes only buying these drinks for special occasions, not keeping them in the fridge or pantry, not offering them to children with their meals regularly, and replacing them with more nutritious drink options, such as water or reduced fat milks. Other strategies such as taxes on sugar sweetened drinks may also help to discourage the consumption of these drinks.

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

Related Stories

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 ...

Sweet drinks need tooth decay warning

January 30, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Researchers from the University of Adelaide say any health warnings about soft drinks should include the risk of tooth decay, following a new study that looks at the consumption of sweet drinks and fluoridated ...

New study finds potential link between daily consumption of diet soft drinks and risk of vascular events

January 31, 2012
Individuals who drink diet soft drinks on a daily basis may be at increased risk of suffering vascular events such as stroke, heart attack, and vascular death. This is according to a new study by Hannah Gardener and her colleagues ...

Recommended for you

Three million Americans carry loaded handguns daily, study finds

October 19, 2017
An estimated 3 million adult American handgun owners carry a firearm loaded and on their person on a daily basis, and 9 million do so on a monthly basis, new research indicates. The vast majority cited protection as their ...

More teens than ever aren't getting enough sleep

October 19, 2017
If you're a young person who can't seem to get enough sleep, you're not alone: A new study led by San Diego State University Professor of Psychology Jean Twenge finds that adolescents today are sleeping fewer hours per night ...

Across Asia, liver cancer is linked to herbal remedies: study

October 18, 2017
Researchers have uncovered widespread evidence of a link between traditional Chinese herbal remedies and liver cancer across Asia, a study said Wednesday.

Eating better throughout adult years improves physical fitness in old age, suggests study

October 18, 2017
People who have a healthier diet throughout their adult lives are more likely to be stronger and fitter in older age than those who don't, according to a new study led by the University of Southampton.

Global calcium consumption appears low, especially in Asia

October 18, 2017
Daily calcium intake among adults appears to vary quite widely around the world in distinct regional patterns, according to a new systematic review of research data ahead of World Osteoporosis Day on Friday, Oct. 20.

New study: Nearly half of US medical care comes from emergency rooms

October 17, 2017
Nearly half of all US medical care is delivered by emergency departments, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM). And in recent years, the percentage of care delivered ...

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.