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J Public Health Dent. 2017 Jun;77 Suppl 1:S43-S66. doi: 10.1111/jphd.12222. Epub 2017 May 29.

A systematic review of the association between consumption of sugar-containing beverages and excess weight gain among children under age 12.

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American Association of Public Health Dentistry, Springfield, IL, USA; College of Dentistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
School of Dentistry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Wellness Department, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Nutrition and Health Sciences Doctoral Program, Laney Graduate School, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Department of Pediatric Dentistry, UNC School of Dentistry, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.



A systematic review was conducted to address this clinical question: Does consumption of (non-dairy) sugar-containing beverages (SCBs) among children under age 12 result in excess weight gain?


The authors searched four databases for controlled trials (randomized and non-randomized) and cohort studies published in English through March 29, 2016: PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, CINAHL. Initial and full-text screening, data abstraction, and risk of bias assessment were performed independently and in duplicate.


Thirty-eight studies met inclusion criteria for this systematic review. One was a randomized controlled trial, and 37 were cohort studies. Though the results of these studies were mixed, the majority demonstrated a statistically significant positive association between SCB consumption in children under age 12 and total adiposity and central adiposity. In contrast, most studies that assessed 100 percent fruit juice consumption only with either total adiposity or central adiposity did not support an association. Among only children under age 5 at baseline, no studies examined central adiposity, but nearly all studies examining SCBs and total adiposity, and a majority examining only fruit juice consumption, demonstrated a statistically significant positive association.


Our results support a statistically significant positive association between SCBs and total and central adiposity among children under age 12. This association is most consistent for total adiposity among children <5. Our results for 100 percent fruit juice only suggest differences by age, as most studies among those < 12 were negative but most among those <5 were positive.


adiposity; obesity; sugar-containing beverages; sugar-sweetened beverage; systematic review

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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