Soft drink consumption among US children and adolescents: Nutritional consequences

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Objective: To determine whether carbonated soft drink consumption is associated with consumption of milk, fruit juice, and the nutrients concentrated in these beverages. Design: Data collected as part of the 1994 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals were analyzed. Information on food and nutrient intake was derived from 2 days of dietary recall data collected via an in-person interview. Subjects and participants: Nationally representative sample of people of all ages residing in the United States (response rate=76.2%). Analyses were restricted to children aged 2 to 18 years (N=1,810). Statistical analyses performed: Logistic regression analyses were conducted to predict the odds of low milk and juice consumption by soft drink consumption level. To determine whether intake of select nutrients varied by soft drink consumption, multiple linear regression modeling was conducted. Analyses were conducted using sample weights and software appropriate for the survey design. Results: Energy intake was positively associated with consumption of nondiet soft drinks. For example, mean adjusted energy intake was 1,830 kcal/day for school-aged children who were nonconsumers of soft drinks compared with 2,018 kcal/day for children in this age group who consumed an average of 9 oz of soda or more per day. Those in the highest soft drink consumption category consumed less milk and fruit juice compared with those in the lowest consumption category (nonconsumers). Conclusions: Nutrition education messages targeted to children and/or their parents should encourage limited consumption of soft drinks. Policies that limit children's access to soft drinks at day care centers and schools should be promoted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)436-441
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1999


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