Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: We assessed whether sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption increases fatness in British children. METHODS: Data from a subsample of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children were analyzed. Diet was assessed at ages 5 y (n = 521) and 7 y (n = 682) using 3-d diet diaries. Beverages were categorized into SSB, low energy, fruit juice, milk, and water. Fat mass was measured at age 9 y using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. The association between consumption of SSB at each age and fatness was examined using linear regression adjusted for potentially confounding variables. RESULTS: SSB accounted for 15% of all drinks consumed and 3% of total energy intake at both ages. There was no evidence of an association between SSB consumption at 5 or 7 y of age and fatness at age 9 y. There was a small positive correlation between low-energy drinks at age 5 and 7 y and fatness at 9 y (age 5 y, rho = 0.21, P < 0.001; age 7 y, rho = 0.16, P < 0.001), which was explained by existing overweight status at ages 5 and 7 y. CONCLUSION: In this cohort of British children there was no evidence of an association between SSB consumption at age 5 or 7 y and fatness at age 9 y. The positive relation between consumption of low-energy beverages and fatness at 9 y, which was explained by overweight status at 5 and 7 y, suggests that heavier children may consume low-energy beverages as part of an ineffective weight-control program.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





557 - 563


Absorptiometry, Photon, Adipose Tissue, Adiposity, Beverages, Body Composition, Body Mass Index, Body Weight, Child, Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena, Child, Preschool, Cohort Studies, Dietary Sucrose, Energy Intake, Female, Humans, Linear Models, Male, Nutrition Surveys, Obesity, United Kingdom