Obesity and Sugar-sweetened Beverages in African-American Preschool Children: A Longitudinal Study

Authors

  • Sungwoo Lim,

    Corresponding author
    1. Bureau of Epidemiology Services, Division of Epidemiology, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, New York, USA
      (slim1@health.nyc.gov)
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  • Jamie M. Zoellner,

    1. Department of Nutrition and Food Systems, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA
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  • Joyce M. Lee,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    2. Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
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  • Brian A. Burt,

    1. Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
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  • Anita M. Sandretto,

    1. Department of Environmental HealthSciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
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  • Woosung Sohn,

    1. Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences, and Endodontics, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
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  • Amid I. Ismail,

    1. School of Dentistry, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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  • James M. Lepkowski

    1. Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
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(slim1@health.nyc.gov)

Abstract

A representative sample of 365 low-income African-American preschool children aged 3–5 years was studied to determine the association between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption (soda, fruit drinks, and both combined) and overweight and obesity. Children were examined at a dental clinic in 2002–2003 and again after 2 years. Dietary information was collected using the Block Kids Food Frequency Questionnaire. A BMI score was computed from recorded height and weight. Overweight and obesity were defined by national reference age-sex specific BMI: those with an age-sex specific BMI ≥85th, but <95th percentile as overweight and those with BMI ≥95th age-sex specific percentile as obese. The prevalence of overweight was 12.9% in baseline, and increased to 18.7% after 2 years. The prevalence of obesity increased from 10.3 to 20.4% during the same period. Baseline intake of soda and all sugar-sweetened beverages were positively associated with baseline BMI z-scores. After adjusting for covariates, additional intake of fruit drinks and all sugar-sweetened beverages at baseline showed significantly higher odds of incidence of overweight over 2 years. Among a longitudinal cohort of African-American preschool children, high consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was significantly associated with an increased risk for obesity.

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