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Health Aff (Millwood). 2015 Nov;34(11):1940-8. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2015.0434.

Consumption Of Specific Foods And Beverages And Excess Weight Gain Among Children And Adolescents.

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Di Dong is a PhD student in health services and systems research at the Duke-National University of Singapore (NUS) Graduate Medical School.
Marcel Bilger is an assistant professor in the Health Services and Systems Research Program at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School.
Rob M. van Dam is an associate professor in the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore.
Eric A. Finkelstein ( is a professor in the Health Services and Systems Research Program at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School and a research professor at the Duke Global Health Institute, Duke University, in Durham, North Carolina.


Efforts are under way to identify successful strategies to reduce long-term childhood obesity risk, such as ways to improve diet quality. To identify foods and beverages associated with excess weight gain, we used cohort data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children in the United Kingdom. We quantified the associations between changes in or levels of consumption of twenty-seven food and beverage groups and excess weight gain in three-year periods among youth ages 7-13. When we considered all dietary factors and physical activity levels simultaneously, we found that foods with the largest positive associations with three-year excess weight gain were fat spread (butter or margarine), coated (breaded or battered) poultry, potatoes cooked in oil (French fries, roasted potatoes, and potato chips), coated fish, processed meats, other meats, desserts and sweets, milk, and sugar-sweetened beverages. Foods associated with weight loss were whole grains and high-fiber cereals. These results provide evidence for targeting specific food and beverage groups in efforts to influence weight outcomes.


Children’s Health; Epidemiology; Health Promotion/Disease Prevention; Public Health

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