Kid’s Consumption of Sugared Beverages Linked to Higher Caloric Intake of Food

New Study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reports

San Diego, CA, March 12, 2013 – A new study from the Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reports that sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are primarily responsible for higher caloric intakes of children that consume SSBs as compared to children that do not (on a given day). In addition, SSB consumption is also associated with higher intake of unhealthy foods. The results are published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Over the past 20 years, consumption of SSBs — sweetened sodas, fruit drinks, sports drinks, and energy drinks — has risen, causing concern because higher consumption of SSBs is associated with high caloric intakes. Until recently it was unclear what portion of the diet was responsible for the higher caloric intakes of SSB consumers.

“The primary aims of our study,” said lead investigator Kevin Mathias of the Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “were to determine the extent to which SSBs contribute to higher caloric intake of SSB consumers and to identify food and beverage groups from the overall diet that are associated with increased SSB consumption.”

Culling data from the 2003-2010 What We Eat in America, National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, investigators analyzed a sample of 10,955 children ages 2 to 18, and reported results for three separate age groups: 2-5, 6-11, and 12-18 year olds. Results showed that while intake of food increased, intake of non-sweetened beverages decreased with higher consumption of SSBs. By examining both food and non-sweetened beverages the authors were able to conclude that SSBs are primarily responsible for higher caloric intakes among 2-5 and 6-11 year olds. A similar finding was observed among children aged 12–18 years; however, both food and SSBs contributed to higher caloric intakes of adolescents consuming greater than 500 kcal of SSBs.

Mr. Mathias stated that, “Among all age groups analyzed, the energy density (calories per gram) of food consumed increased with higher SSB intake.” These findings suggest that higher consumption of SSBs is associated with consumption of foods with high caloric contents. “This is concerning because many foods that are associated with higher SSB 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.”

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Notes for Editors
“Foods and Beverages Associated with Higher Intake of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages,” by Kevin C. Mathias, MS; Meghan M. Slining, PhD, MPH; and Barry M. Popkin, PhD (DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2012.11.036). It appears in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 44, Issue 4 (April 2013), published by Elsevier.

Full text of the article is available to credentialed journalists upon request; contact Brianna Lee at +1 858 534 9407 or eAJPM@ucsd.edu. Journalists wishing to interview the authors should contact Kevin C. Mathias at kmathias@unc.edu.

About the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
The American Journal of Preventive Medicine (www.ajpm-online.net) is the official journal of The American College of Preventive Medicine (www.acpm.org) and the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (www.aptrmweb.org). It publishes articles in the areas of prevention research, teaching, practice and policy. Original research is published on interventions aimed at the prevention of chronic and acute disease and the promotion of individual and community health. The journal features papers that address the primary and secondary prevention of important clinical, behavioral and public health issues such as injury and violence, infectious disease, women's health, smoking, sedentary behaviors and physical activity, nutrition, diabetes, obesity, and alcohol and drug abuse. Papers also address educational initiatives aimed at improving the ability of health professionals to provide effective clinical prevention and public health services. The journal also publishes official policy statements from the two co-sponsoring organizations, health services research pertinent to prevention and public health, review articles, media reviews, and editorials.

The American Journal of Preventive Medicine, with an Impact Factor of 4.044, is ranked 12th out of 157 Public, Environmental and Occupational Health titles and 17th out of 153 General & Internal Medicine titles according to the 2011 Journal Citation Reports® published by Thomson Reuters.

About Elsevier

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Media contact
Brianna Lee
+1 858 534 9407
eAJPM@ucsd.edu