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J Am Diet Assoc. 2003 Oct;103(10):1326-31.

National trends in soft drink consumption among children and adolescents age 6 to 17 years: prevalence, amounts, and sources, 1977/1978 to 1994/1998.

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University of Minnesota, Division of Epidemiology, Minneapolis MN 55454-1015, USA.



Trends between 1977/1978 and 1994/1998 in the prevalence, amounts, and sources of soft drink consumption were examined among youth age 6 to 17 years.


Dietary intake data were examined from three national surveys: the Nationwide Food Consumption Survey 1977/1978 (n=8,908), and the combined Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals 1994/1996, and the Supplemental Children's Survey 1998 (n=3,177). Soft drinks were defined as carbonated beverages (all United States Department of Agriculture database codes starting with 924) and included flavored waters and juice drinks. Subjects/Setting A national sample of youth ages 6 to 17 years were interviewed for each of the 3 surveys.


t tests were conducted to examine between-survey changes in soft drink consumption and sources of soft drinks.


The prevalence of soft drink consumption among youth ages 6 to 17 years increased 48%, from a prevalence of 37% in 1977/1978 to 56% in 1994/1998. Mean intake of soft drinks more than doubled, from 5 fl oz to 12 fl oz per day. Although the home environment remained the largest source of children's soft drink access, an increasing share was obtained from restaurants and fast-food establishments (+53%), vending machines (+48%), and other sources (+37%).


Away-from-home sources of soft drink are an important factor for dietitians to consider when evaluating the dietary intake and nutritional status of youths.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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