Early introduction and cumulative consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages during the pre-school period and risk of obesity at 8–14 years of age

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Abstract

Background:

Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) has been associated with risk of obesity, but little evidence exists to evaluate if age of introduction and cumulative SSB consumption increases risk in children.

Objectives:

The objective of the study was to estimate the relationship between age of introduction and cumulative SSB consumption with risk of obesity in 227 Mexican children.

Methods:

SSB intake was measured every 6 months; age of introduction and cumulative consumption during the pre-school period were calculated. Height, weight, waist circumference, SSB intake and other relevant variables were measured at age 8–14 years and obesity defined using standard criteria.

Results:

All participants were introduced to SSB before age 24 months and most (73%) before 12 months. Early SSB introduction (≤12 months) was not significantly associated with increased odds of obesity (odds ratio [OR] = 2.00, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.87, 4.59). However, children in the highest tertile of cumulative SSB consumption, compared with the lowest, had almost three times the odds of general (OR = 2.99, 95% CI: 1.27, 7.00) and abdominal (OR = 2.70, 95% CI: 1.03, 7.03) obesity at age 8–14 years.

Conclusions:

High SSB consumption increased the likelihood of obesity in 8–14-year-old children. Our results suggest that SSB intake should be delayed and excessive SSB consumption in pre-school period should be avoided.

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