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Public Health Nutr. 2013 Mar;16(3):479-86. doi: 10.1017/S1368980012002613. Epub 2012 Sep 25.

Daily sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and insulin resistance in European adolescents: the HELENA (Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence) Study.

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Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University, 70 El. Venizelou Street, 17671 Athens, Greece.



The present study aimed to evaluate the relationship between the consumption of selected food groups and insulin resistance, with an emphasis on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB).


The present research is a large multicentre European study in adolescents, the HELENA-CSS (Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence Cross-Sectional Study).


Homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR) was calculated. Several anthropometric and lifestyle characteristics were recorded. Dietary assessment was conducted by using a short FFQ.


The participants were a subset of the original sample (n 546) with complete data on glucose, insulin and FFQ. All participants were recruited at schools.


Median (25th, 75th percentile) HOMA-IR was 0.62 (0.44, 0.87). Mean HOMA-IR was significantly higher among adolescents consuming brown bread ≤1 time/week than among those consuming 2-6 times/week (P = 0·011). Mean values of HOMA-IR were also higher in adolescents consuming SSB >5 times/week compared with those consuming less frequently, although a statistically significant difference was detected between those consuming SSB 5-6 times/week and 2-4 times/week (P = 0.049). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that only the frequency of SSB consumption was significantly associated with HOMA-IR after controlling for potential confounders. In particular, it was found that HOMA-IR levels were higher among adolescents consuming SSB 5-6 times/week and ≥1 time/d compared with those consuming ≤1 time/week by 0.281 and 0.191 units, respectively (P = 0.009 and 0.046, respectively).


The present study revealed that daily consumption of SSB was related with increased HOMA-IR in adolescents.

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