Children Who Drink Sugary Drinks Daily More Likely To Be Obese, Study Says

Staff Writer
A study has found children who consume at least one sugary drink each day are more likely to be obese than those who do not

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

A study conducted by the University of Virginia in Charlottesville has found that five-year olds who drink sugar-sweetened sodas, sports drinks, or juices daily are more likely to be obese than those who have sugar-sweetened beverages less often.

While studies have come out about the dangers of adults drinking sugary drinks, a new study has shown that sugary drinks can put a toll on the body no matter what age.

A study conducted by the University of Virginia in Charlottesville has found that five-year olds who drink sugar-sweetened sodas, sports drinks, or juices daily are more likely to be obese than those who have sugar-sweetened beverages less often, according to Reuters.

While no one was arguing that sugary drinks would benefit children, Mark DeBoer, who led the study, told Reuters that the link between obesity and children and sugary drinks was always less clear than that of adults. "Even though sugar-sweetened beverages are relatively a small percentage of the calories that children take in, that additional amount of calories did contribute to more weight gain over time," he said.

The researchers surveyed the parents of a group of 9,600 children when they were were two, four and five years old. The researchers recorded their income and education, and how often children drank sugary beverages and watched TV. They were then weighed, along with their mothers, at each visit.

The researchers found five-year-olds who had at least one sugary drink every day were 43 percent more likely to be obese than those who drank the beverages less frequently or not at all, according to Reuters. But, the American Beverage Association is not as convinced that sugary drinks are the cause, according to a statement to Reuters. "Overweight and obesity are caused by an imbalance between calories consumed from all foods and beverages (total diet) and calories burned (physical activity). Therefore, it is misleading to suggest that beverage consumption is uniquely responsible for weight gain among this group of children, especially at a time in their lives when they would normally gain weight and grow," the group said. 

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