Sugary Drinks Linked to Child Obesity in Preschoolers

For years, sugary drinks have been linked to obesity in teens and children.  A new study released in Pediatrics this week has tied sugary drink consumption to childhood obesity for young children ages 3-5 years old.  Young children who consumed at least one sugary beverage a day including soda, juice, or sports drinks were 43% more likely to be obese than children who choose healthier drink options such as water or milk.  Though these drinks are not the sole reason that childhood obesity is increasing at a steady rate, they are a contributing factor.

In addition, findings from the National Poll on Children’s Health February 2012 poll Report showed that many young children are drinking more juice than is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, preschoolers should be limited to one serving per day of fruit juice yet 35% of parents reported that they give their young children two or more cups of juice a day. 

Parents should treat juice and other sugary drinks as a treat and only give it to their children on occasion instead of on a daily basis.  It’s important for parents to be aware of what their children are drinking and instill healthy drinking habits in them at an early age.   

Have a comment about sugar-sweetened drinks for kids?  We’d be glad to hear from you.

*Source: Pediatrics, Online August 5 2013