Effect of Sugary Drinks to Pre-schooler

Five-year-olds who drink sugar-sweetened sodas, sports drinks or juices every day are more likely to be obese than those who have sugar-sweetened beverages less often, according to a new study.

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Dr. Mark DeBoer, who led the study at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, surveyed the parents of a nationally-representative group of 9,600 children when the kids were two, four and five years old. The children were all born in 2001. Parents reported on their income and education, as well as how often children drank sugary beverages and watched TV.

The children and their mothers were weighed at each survey visit.

The proportion of kids who had at least one soda, sports drink or sugar-sweetened juice drink each day ranged from 9 to 13 percent, depending on their age.

Those children were more likely to have an overweight mother and to watch at least two hours of TV each day at age four and five.

After accounting for those influences as well as families' socioeconomic status, the researchers found five-year-olds who had at least one sugary drink each day were 43 percent more likely to be obese than those who drank the beverages less frequently or not at all.

Kids were considered obese if they had a body mass index - a measure of weight in relation to height - above the 95th percentile for their age and gender, as calculated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 15 percent of five-year-olds in the study were obese.

Four-year-old sugary beverage drinkers also tended to have a higher rate of obesity than non-drinkers - but that finding could have been due to chance, the researchers reported Monday in Pediatrics. Among two-year-olds, there was no link between sugar-sweetened beverages and obesity.


This recent study just adding to the evidence we already know that (drinking) sugar-sweetened beverages in childhood is associated with weight gain. It's definitely one of the major, if not the main, driver in childhood obesity. We, parents, should be aware of where our kids are getting extra unhealthy calories and stick with water and milk for beverage options. 

I also recommend fruits over fruit drinks and juices. 

I am not saying that we're not going to ban all these sugary things… from people's childhoods, it's just they're supposed to be very rare treats. Right, Moms?

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