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J Am Diet Assoc. 2007 Jul;107(7):1124-33.

Beverage patterns, diet quality, and body mass index of US preschool and school-aged children.

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Department of Family Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53715, USA.



To evaluate diet quality and body mass index (BMI) by beverage patterns in children aged 2 to 11 years.


Beverage patterns were formed using 24-hour dietary recall diet variables from the 2001-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Diet quality was assessed using energy, micronutrient intakes, and Healthy Eating Index (HEI) scores (a 100-point scale that measures adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans).


Children, aged 2 to 5 years (n=541) and 6 to 11 years (n=793), were selected from 2001-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data.


Cluster analysis was used to identify beverage patterns in preschool and school-aged children. General linear models were used to compare HEI scores, energy, micronutrient intakes, and BMI across beverage clusters.


Four and five beverage clusters were identified for preschool and school-aged children, respectively. In preschool children, mean HEI differed between the fruit juice cluster (79.0) vs the high-fat milk cluster (70.9, P<0.01); however, both fruit juice and high-fat milk clusters had the highest micronutrient intakes. Mean HEI differed significantly across beverage patterns for school-aged children (from 63.2 to 69.9, P<0.01), with the high-fat milk cluster having the best diet quality, reflected by HEI and micronutrient intakes. Adjusted mean BMI differed significantly across beverage clusters only in school-aged children (from 17.8 to 19.9, P<0.05).


Beverage patterns were related to diet quality among preschool and school-aged children, but were only related to BMI in school-aged children. Children from all clusters could benefit by consuming fewer calorically sweetened beverages and increasing micronutrient-dense foods.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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