• asthma;
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
  • epidemiology;
  • soft drink


Background and objective:  The aim of this study was to examine the association between soft drink consumption and self-reported doctor-diagnosed asthma and COPD among adults living in South Australia.

Methods:  Data were collected using a risk factor surveillance system. Each month a representative random sample of South Australians were selected from the electronic White Pages and interviews were conducted using computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI).

Results:  Among 16 907 participants aged 16 years and older, 11.4% reported daily soft drink consumption of more than half a litre. High levels of soft drink consumption were positively associated with asthma and COPD. Overall, 13.3% of participants with asthma and 15.6% of those with COPD reported consuming more than half a litre of soft drink per day. By multivariate analysis, after adjusting for socio-demographic and lifestyle factors, the odds ratio (OR) for asthma was 1.26 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01–1.58) and the OR for COPD was 1.79 (95% CI: 1.32–2.43), comparing those who consumed more than half a litre of soft drink per day with those who did not consume soft drinks.

Conclusions:  There was a positive association between consumption of soft drinks and asthma/COPD among adults living in South Australia.