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Impact of a school-based intervention on sugar-sweetened beverage intake substitution by water in Mexican scholars.

INTRODUCTION: The prevalence of overweight and obesity in children has increased in recent years, associated with substituting plain water intake with sugar-sweetened beverages. To evaluate the impact of a school-based intervention that aimed to replace sugar-sweetened beverages with water in Mexican scholars.

METHODS: We included 314 children aged 9-11 from three public schools of the State of Hidalgo, Mexico, randomized to intervention (two schools from the municipality of Apan; six classes with 146 participants) or control group (one school from the municipality of Emiliano Zapata; six classes with 168 participants) and followed for six months. The intervention consisted of placing drinking fountains at school and classrooms with nutritional education lessons to increase water consumption and decrease sugar-sweetened beverages. Mixed models for repeated measures were used to assess the impact of the intervention.

RESULTS: At the end of the study, water consumption was higher (200 mL/day, p=0.005), and flavored milk consumption was lower (94 mL/day, p=0.044) in the intervention group compared with the control group. There was also a statistically significant reduction for energy (p=0.016) and sugar intake (p=0.007).

CONCLUSIONS: The school-based intervention favorably modified the consumption pattern of sugar-sweetened beverages and water in Mexican students.

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