Public Release:  Soft drink consumption not the major contributor to childhood obesity

Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Research Press)

Ottawa, Ontario (June 14, 2012) - Most children and youth who consume soft drinks and other sweetened beverages, such as fruit punch and lemonade, are not at any higher risk for obesity than their peers who drink healthy beverages, says a new study published in the October issue of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. The study examined the relationship between beverage intake patterns of Canadian children and their risk for obesity and found sweetened beverage intake to be a risk factor only in boys aged 6-11.

"We found sweetened drinks to be dominant beverages during childhood, but saw no consistent association between beverage intake patterns and overweight and obesity," says lead author Susan J. Whiting. "Food and beverage habits are formed early in life and are often maintained into adulthood. Overconsumption of sweetened beverages may put some children at increased risk for overweight and obesity. Indeed, boys aged 6-11 years who consumed mostly soft drinks were shown to be at increased risk for overweight and obesity as compared with those who drank a more moderate beverage pattern."

The authors determined beverage consumption patterns among Canadian children aged 2󈝾 years using cluster analysis where sociodemographics, ethnicity, household income, and food security were significantly different across the clusters. Data were divided into different age and gender groups and beverage preferences were studied. For this study the sweetened, low-nutrient beverages, categorized according to Canada's Food Guide, consisted of fruit-flavoured beverages, beverages with less than 100% fruit juice, lemonades, regular soft drinks, and sweetened coffees or teas.

The authors found the main predictors of childhood obesity in Canadian children were household income, ethnicity, and household food security.

###

The study "Beverage patterns among Canadian children and relationship to overweight and obesity" appears in the October issue of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.

For more information contact: Corresponding author: Susan J. Whiting (e-mail: susan.whiting@usask.ca).

Full Reference: Danyliw, A.D., Vatanparast, H., Nikpartow, N., and Whiting, S.J. Beverage patterns among Canadian children and relationship to overweight and obesity. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 37(5) doi: 10.1139/ H2012-0074. [This article is available Open Access at http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/H2012-074]

About the Publisher

NRC Research Press, which began as the publishing arm of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) in 1929, transitioned in September 2010 from NRC and the Federal Government of Canada into an independent not-for-profit organization operating under the new name Canadian Science Publishing. Canadian Science Publishing (which continues to operate its journals under the brand NRC Research Press) is the foremost scientific publisher in Canada, publishing 15 of its own journals and providing advanced electronic publishing services to its clients. With over 50 highly skilled experts and an editorial team comprising some of the world's leading researchers, NRC Research Press (Canadian Science Publishing) communicates scientific discoveries to over 175 countries.

Disclaimer Canadian Science Publishing operates under the brand NRC Research Press but is not affiliated with the National Research Council Canada. Papers published by Canadian Science Publishing are peer-reviewed by experts in their field. The views of the authors in no way reflect the opinions of Canadian Science Publishing or the National Research Council of Canada. Requests for commentary about the contents of any study should be directed to the authors. PLEASE CITE Canadian Science Publishing (operating under the brand NRC Research Press), AND OUR WEBSITE, http://nrcresearchpress.com, AS THE SOURCE OF THE PREVIOUS ITEM. IF PUBLISHING ONLINE, PLEASE CARRY A HYPERLINK TO http://nrcresearchpress.com/action/showNews?filter=recent.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.