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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Intake of Soft Drinks, Fruit-Flavored Beverages, and Fruits and Vegetables by Children in Grades 4 Through 6.

Authors
item CULLEN, KAREN
item Ash, Danielle - BLESSING HOSP, QUINCY IL.
item Warneke, Carla - UNV TX MD ANDRS CANCR CNT
item DE Moor, Carl - UNV TX MD ANDRS CANCR CNT

Submitted to: American Journal of Public Health
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 18, 2002
Publication Date: September 1, 2002
Citation: Cullen,K.W., Ash,D.M., WArneke,C., De Moor,C. 2002. Intake of soft drinks, fruit-flavored beverages, and fruits and vegetables by children in grades 4 through 6. American Journal of Public Health. 92(9):1475-1478.

Interpretive Summary: Beverage consumption of 504 4th to 6th grade children was obtained from up to 7 days of food records. Over 50% of total beverages consumed by 4th to 6th grade students were sweetened beverages. African-American and Mexican-American students consumed the most fruit-flavored and soft drinks. Lower parental education was associated with higher soft drink and sweetened beverage consumption. Students with the highest consumption of all sweetened beverage categories consumed the most calories, about 330 extra per day, compared with those not consuming sweetened beverages. Fruit consumption was approximately 57% lower for those students in the highest soft drink tertile, and 62% lower (~1/2 serving) in highest sweetened beverage tertile, compared with the lowest tertile. Fruit intake reduces risks for chronic diseases. Low consumption in childhood may persist into adulthood. Perhaps sweetened beverage consumption reflects poor dietary habits or meal source, e.g. fast food restaurants with few fruit and many high fat food selections. No other reports have evaluated the relationship between sweetened beverage consumption and food intake. This warrants further research with longitudinal studies, because of the obesity problem and chronic disease risks. Consumption of more healthful beverages, such as lowfat-milk or water should be encouraged at home and at meals consumed away from home.

Technical Abstract: Little is known about the relationship between sweetened beverage consumption and consumption of other food groups is unknown. Beverage consumption of 504 4th to 6th grade children was obtained from up to 7 days of food records. Over 50% of total beverages consumed by 4th to 6th grade students were sweetened beverages. African-American and Mexican-American students consumed the most fruit-flavored and soft drinks. Lower parental education was associated with higher soft drink and sweetened beverage consumption. Students with the highest consumption of all sweetened beverage categories consumed the most calories, about 330 extra per day, compared with those not consuming sweetened beverages. High fat vegetable consumption was also greater for those in the highest soft drink and sweetened beverage tertiles. Fruit consumption was approximately 57% lower for those students in the highest soft drink tertile, and 62% lower (~1/2 serving) in highest sweetened beverage tertile, compared with the lowest tertile. Phytochemicals found in fruit reduce risks for chronic diseases. Low consumption in childhood may persist into adulthood. Perhaps sweetened beverage consumption is a marker for poor dietary habits or reflects meal source, e.g. fast food restaurants with few fruit and many high fat food selections. No other reports have evaluated the relationship between sweetened beverage consumption and food intake. This warrants further research with longitudinal studies, because of the obesity problem and chronic disease risks. Consumption of more healthful beverages, such as lowfat-milk or water should be encouraged at home and at meals consumed away from home.

Last Modified: 8/19/2014
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