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Open AccessArticle

Relationship between Soft Drink Consumption and Obesity in 9–11 Years Old Children in a Multi-National Study

Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA
Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, ON K1H 8L1, Canada
Department of Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki 00014, Finland
St. Johns Research Institute, Bangalore 560034, India
Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Newlands, Cape Town 7700, South Africa
Faculdade de Desporto, University of Porto, Rua Dr. Plácido Costa, 91, Porto 4200-450, Portugal
Centro de Estudos do Laboratório de Aptidão Física de São Caetano do Sul, Sao Paulo 09520-320, Brazil
School of Health Sciences, Sansom Institute, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia
Department of Recreation Management and Exercise Science, Kenyatta University, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
School of Medicine, Universidad de los Andes, Bogota 11001000, Colombia
Department for Health, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK
Department of Kinesiology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA
Tianjin Women’s and Children’s Health Center, Tianjin 300070, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2016, 8(12), 770;
Received: 26 September 2016 / Revised: 16 November 2016 / Accepted: 22 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
The purpose of this study was to determine the association between regular (sugar containing) and diet (artificially sweetened) soft drink consumption and obesity in children from 12 countries ranging in levels of economic and human development. The sample included 6162 children aged 9–11 years. Information on soft drink consumption was obtained using a food frequency questionnaire. Percentage body fat (%BF) was estimated by bio-electrical impedance analysis, body mass index (BMI) z-scores were computed using World Health Organization reference data, and obesity was defined as a BMI > +2 standard deviations (SD). Multi-level models were used to investigate trends in BMI z-scores, %BF and obesity across categories of soft drink consumption. Age, sex, study site, parental education and physical activity were included as covariates. There was a significant linear trend in BMI z-scores across categories of consumption of regular soft drinks in boys (p = 0.049), but not in girls; there were no significant trends in %BF or obesity observed in either boys or girls. There was no significant linear trend across categories of diet soft drink consumption in boys, but there was a graded, positive association in girls for BMI z-score (p = 0.0002) and %BF (p = 0.0001). Further research is required to explore these associations using longitudinal research designs. View Full-Text
Keywords: pediatric; overweight; global; sugar-sweetened beverages pediatric; overweight; global; sugar-sweetened beverages
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Katzmarzyk, P.T.; Broyles, S.T.; Champagne, C.M.; Chaput, J.-P.; Fogelholm, M.; Hu, G.; Kuriyan, R.; Kurpad, A.; Lambert, E.V.; Maia, J.; Matsudo, V.; Olds, T.; Onywera, V.; Sarmiento, O.L.; Standage, M.; Tremblay, M.S.; Tudor-Locke, C.; Zhao, P. Relationship between Soft Drink Consumption and Obesity in 9–11 Years Old Children in a Multi-National Study. Nutrients 2016, 8, 770.

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