-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, March 12 (HealthDay News) -- Children who drink
sugar-sweetened beverages consume more calories than other children
and the beverages are the main reason for that higher calorie
intake, a new study reveals.
In addition, children who drink sugar-sweetened beverages eat
more unhealthy foods than other children, the researchers
Evidence shows that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages --
which include sodas, fruit drinks, sports and energy drinks -- has
risen in the past 20 years.
For the study, researchers analyzed data from nearly 11,000 U.S.
children, aged 2 to 18, who were included in national surveys
between 2003 and 2010. During this time, children's consumption of
food and sugar-sweetened beverages increased, while they drank
fewer non-sweetened beverages.
Further analysis revealed that sugar-sweetened beverages were
the primary cause of the increased calorie intake seen among
children aged 2 to 11. Both food and sugar-sweetened beverages
contributed to increased calorie intake among children aged 12 to
18, according to the report scheduled for publication in the April
issue of the
American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
"Among all age groups analyzed, the energy density (calories per gram) of food consumed increased with higher sugar-sweetened beverage intake," lead investigator Kevin Mathias, of the department of nutrition at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said in a journal news release.
He said the findings suggest that higher consumption of
sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with consumption of foods
with high levels of calories.
"This is concerning because many foods that are associated with higher sugar-sweetened beverage consumption (e.g., pizza, cakes/cookies/pies, fried potatoes, and sweets) are also top sources of solid fats and added sugars; components of the diet that the 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommends Americans should limit," Mathias said.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has more about
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