The association between sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) and executive function among children has been less investigated. We aimed to explore this topic. We randomly recruited 6387 children aged 6–12 years from five elementary schools in Guangzhou, China in 2019. Information on frequency and servings of children’s SSB consumption was assessed using a questionnaire. Children’s executive function was evaluated using parents’ ratings of the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), which comprises eight subscales—including inhibit, shift, emotional control, initiate, working memory, plan/organize, organization of materials and monitor, as well as three composite indexes including behavioral regulation index (BRI), metacognition index (MI), and global executive index (GEC). SSB consumption was positively associated with all subscales and composite scores of BRIEF as well as higher risks of elevated executive difficulties, indicating poorer executive function. For example, children who drank SSB ≥2 times/week were related to higher scores of GEC (estimates, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.44, 1.79 to 3.09) compared with those who never drank SSB. The odds ratio of elevated GEC associated with SSB consumption ≥2 times/week was 1.62 (95% CI: 1.34, 1.96) than non-consumers. The results of this study indicated that SSB consumption was associated with poorer executive function in children.
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