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Keywords:

  • sugar-sweetened beverages;
  • food habits;
  • youth or adolescents;
  • beverage consumption

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND

Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) may play a role in increased rates of obesity. This study examined patterns and frequencies of beverage consumption among youth in 3 distinct regions in Canada, and examined associations between beverage consumption and age, sex, body mass index (BMI), physical activity and dieting behavior, as well as beverage displacement.

METHODS

The study included data from 10,188 youth (ages 13-18) from Hamilton and Thunder Bay, Ontario, and Prince Edward Island (PEI) in 2009 to 2010. The study used in-school self-reported surveys with 12 questions regarding beverage consumption during the previous day, along with self-reported height, weight, physical activity levels, and demographic information. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine variables associated with SSB intake.

RESULTS

Overall, 80% of youth consumed at least 1 SSB in the previous day, with 44% consuming 3 or more SSBs. Youth in Thunder Bay consumed significantly more SSBs than Hamilton and PEI, and youth in Hamilton consumed more SSBs than PEI. Boys consumed significantly more SSBs than girls. Older and more physically active youth consumed significantly fewer SSBs. No significant association between BMI and SSB consumption was observed in any model. A modest positive correlation was identified between SSB consumption and milk (r = .06, p < .001) and 100% fruit juice (r = .10, p < .001).

CONCLUSIONS

A large proportion of youth consumed SSBs, many at high levels. Research evaluating SSB policy and interventions should be considered a priority.