Friday, January 27, 2017

Nearly two-thirds of children drink at least one sugary drink per day, CDC study finds

Nearly two-thirds of children ages 2-19 consume at least one sugary drink per day, says a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. "Studies have suggested a link between the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and dental caries, weight gain, type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in children." Obesity is more prevalent among rural children.

The CDC study, which used data from 2011-14 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, found that 62.9 percent of youth consumed at least one sugar-sweetened beverage on a given day. Among boys, 32.7 percent consumed one sugary drink, 20.2 percent two and 11.5 percent at least three. For girls, 33.7 percent had one, 18.1 percent two and 9.5 percent three. (CDC graphic: Percentage of youth who consumed sugary beverages from 2011-14)
Despite efforts to decrease sugar intake, CDC found that children "are consuming roughly the same number of calories from soda, sports drinks and other sugary beverages now as they did in 2009-2010, the last time the CDC published comparable data," Caitlin Dewey reports for The Washington Post. Rachel Johnson, a professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont and a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association, told her, “The amount of sugar that children in particular consume is still astounding. We recommend that children drink soda once a week or less."

Asher Rosinger, epidemic intelligence service officer at the CDC and lead author of the study, said "on average, drinking two or more sugar-sweetened beverages a day provided more than 10 percent of the total daily calories among the children," Jacqueline Howard reports for CNN. "2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend reducing added sugars consumption to less than 10 percent of calories per day and, specifically, to choose beverages with no added sugars."

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