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Soft drink consumption and child obesity

As the number of overweight children increases in the United States, researchers are trying to determine possible causes. Several studies indicate that the consumption of sweet drinks, which increased 68 percent for carbonated soft drinks and 42 percent for fruit juices between 1977 and 1997, may play an important role in childhood obesity. The study "Overweight Among Low-Income Preschool Children Associated With the Consumption of Sweet Drinks: Missouri, 1999-2002" examined the association between sweet drink consumption and overweight in more than 10,000 children aged 2 and 3 years in a federally funded nutrition program in Missouri. The study found that the consumption of sweet drinks as infrequently as one or two times daily increased the odds of becoming overweight among those who are at risk for overweight. The authors concluded that reducing sweet drink consumption might be a strategy to manage the weight of preschool children.

SOURCE: Pediatrics (February issue)


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