Background/Objectives:In parallel with the obesity epidemic, consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) has risen over the same period. Our aim was to investigate associations between the consumption of SSB in childhood and adolescence with subsequent changes in body fatness in early adulthood.Subjects/Methods:A longitudinal study of 9-year-old children (n=283) enrolled in the Danish part of the European Youth Heart Study with a 6-year and 12-year follow-up. Data were collected at ages 9, 15 and 21 years. Multivariate regression analyses with adjustment for potential confounders were used to evaluate the effect of SSB consumption at 9 and 15 years and change in SSB consumption from 9-15 years on subsequent change in body fatness until 21 years.Results:Subjects who consumed more than one serve of SSB daily at age 15 years had larger increases in body mass index (BMI) (β=0.92, P=0.046) and waist circumference (WC) (β=2.69, P=0.04) compared to non-consumers over the subsequent 6 years. In addition, subjects who increased their SSB consumption from age 9-15 years also had larger increases in BMI (β=0.91, P=0.09) and WC (β=2.72, P=0.04) from 15-21 years, compared to those who reported no change in consumption. No significant association was observed from 9-21 years.Conclusion:This study provides new evidence that SSB consumption in adolescence and changes in SSB consumption from childhood to adolescence are both significant predictors of change in body fatness later in early adulthood.European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication, 27 November 2013; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2013.243.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2014, Vol 68, Issue 1, p. 77-83