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Pediatrics. 2013 Sep;132(3):413-20. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-0570. Epub 2013 Aug 5.

Sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain in 2- to 5-year-old children.

Author information

1
Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA. deboer@virginia.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:

Although sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption has been tightly linked to weight status among older children, the data regarding these relationships in children aged 2 to 5 years have been mixed. Our objective was to evaluate longitudinal and cross-sectional relationships between SSB consumption and weight status among children aged 2 to 5 years.

METHODS:

We assessed SSB consumption and BMI z scores among 9600 children followed in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey--Birth Cohort, using linear and logistic regression and adjusting for race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, mother's BMI, and television viewing.

RESULTS:

Higher rates of SSB consumption were associated with higher BMI z scores among children age 4 (P < .05) and 5 (P < .001) but not yet at 2 years. Children aged 5 years who drank SSB regularly (compared with infrequent/nondrinkers) had a higher odds ratio for being obese (1.43, confidence interval 1.10-1.85, P < .01). In prospective analysis, children drinking SSB at 2 years (compared with infrequent/nondrinkers) had a greater subsequent increase in BMI z score over the ensuing 2 years (P < .05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Similar to what is seen among older children, children aged 2 to 5 years drinking SSB demonstrate both prospective and cross-sectional correlations with higher BMI z score. Pediatricians and parents should discourage SSB consumption to help avoid potential unhealthy weight gain in young children. From a public health standpoint, strong consideration should be made toward policy changes leading to decreases in SSB consumption among children.

KEYWORDS:

obesity; preschool; sugar sweetened beverages; weight gain

PMID:
23918897
PMCID:
PMC3876761
DOI:
10.1542/peds.2013-0570
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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