Weight Gain in 2- to 5-Year-Old Children : Role of Sugar Sweetened Drinks

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mark D. DeBoer, MD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Division of Pediatric Endocrinology
University of Virginia Health System
P.O. Box 800386
Charlottesville, VA 22908

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. DeBoer: Preschool and kindergarten children drinking SSB (compared to infrequent/non-drinkers)  were more likely to be obese and among 2 year-olds had more unhealthy weight gain over the next 2 years.  SSB consumption is thus linked to higher weight status in children age 2-5 years.

MedicalResearch.com: Where any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. DeBoer: If anything was surprising it was the number of children drinking sugar-sweetened beverages at such young age.  Between 9 and 13 percent drank sugar-sweetened beverages on a regular basis.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. DeBoer: Clinicians should make sure to remind parents about healthy choices for their children’s food and beverages, offering water as a first option and milk as an alternative.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. DeBoer: Researching methods for discouraging consumption of SSB among children and testing the effect of these approaches on restraining unhealthy weight gain.


Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Weight Gain in 2- to 5-Year-Old Children

Mark D. DeBoer, Rebecca J. Scharf, and Ryan T. Demmer

Pediatrics peds.2013-0570; published ahead of print August 5, 2013

Last Updated on August 6, 2013 by Marie Benz MD FAAD