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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Secular trends in children's sweetened-beverage consumption (1973 to 1994): the Bogalusa Heart Study

Ranganathan Rajeshwari, Su-Jau Yang, Theresa A Nicklas, Gerald S Berenson
Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2005, 105 (2): 208-14
15668676

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether children's sweetened-beverage consumption has changed over a 21-year period (1973 to 1994) in Bogalusa, LA, and whether trends in energy intake, milk consumption, and body mass index (BMI) varied among the sweetened-beverage consumption groups.

DESIGN: Information on food and nutrient intake was derived from a single 24-hour dietary recall collected from children who participated in one of seven cross-sectional surveys.

SUBJECTS/SETTING: A total of 1,548 10-year-old children (65% white, 35% African American; 51% female, 49% male) were randomly selected to participate in the study.

STATISTICAL ANALYSES: The Cochran-Armitage Trend test was applied to examine the trends in sweetened-beverage consumption by 10-year-old children over a 21-year period. A general linear model was used to examine the trend in milk consumption, energy intake, and BMI among the sweetened-beverage consumption groups.

RESULTS: The percentage of children consuming sweetened beverages significantly decreased from 83% (1973) to 81% (1994) (P <.05), particularly consumption of soft drinks (P <.01) and coffee with sugar ( P <.0001). However, the mean gram amount of tea with sugar consumed significantly increased (P <.0001), with no changes in the mean gram amount of fruit drinks, soft drinks, and coffee with sugar consumed. When comparing tertiles of sweetened-beverage consumption over time, the mean gram consumption significantly increased from 1973 to 1994 for those children who were in the medium (P <.001) to high (P <.0001) tertiles. The mean BMI significantly increased (P <.001) from 1973 to 1994 in children within all of the sweetened-beverage consumption groups; however, there were no significant differences in total BMI across the sweetened-beverage consumption groups. The total gram amount of milk consumption was significantly lower in the medium to high sweetened-beverage consumption groups compared with the lower to no sweetened-beverage consumption groups. Total energy intake remained unchanged from 1973 to 1994 within all four sweetened-beverage consumption groups. Total energy intake was significantly higher in the high sweetened-beverage consumption group compared with the other three sweetened-beverage consumption groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Children's sweetened-beverage consumption has changed over a 21-year period. The percentage of children consuming sweetened beverages decreased from 1973 to 1994, particularly consumption of soft drinks and coffee with sugar. Data suggest that there was no linear relationship between sweetened-beverage consumption and BMI and total energy intake. However, total milk consumption was lower in the medium to high sweetened-beverage consumption groups compared with the low to no consumption groups. More studies are needed to confirm these regional findings, which may not be reflective of national trends.

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