Association between soft drink consumption and asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among adults in Australia


  • Conflict of interest statement: SAMSS is owned by SA Health, South Australia, Australia. All collected source data are maintained and managed by Population Research and Outcomes Studies, University of Adelaide. The opinions expressed in this work are those of the authors and may not represent the position or policy of SA Health.

Zumin Shi, Discipline of Medicine, University of Adelaide, 122 Frome Street, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia. Email:


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.