Objective: To determine the possible association between carbonated beverage consumption and bone fractures among teenaged girls given the awareness of the concern about the impact of carbonated beverage consumption on children's health.
Setting: An urban high school.
Methods: A cross-sectional (retrospective) study. Four hundred sixty 9th- and 10th-grade girls attending the high school participated in this study by completing a self-administered questionnaire relating to their physical activities and personal and behavioral practices. The school system and the Harvard School of Public Health Institutional Review Boards approved the study. The girls' self-reports on physical activity, carbonated beverage consumption, and bone fractures are analyzed.
Results: In the total sample, carbonated beverage consumption and bone fractures are associated: odds ratio = 3.14 (95% confidence limit, 1.45, 6.78), P = .004. Among physically active girls, the cola beverages, in particular, are highly associated with bone fractures: odds ratio = 4.94 (95% confidence limit, 1.79, 13.62), P = .002.
Conclusions: The results reported confirm previous findings, but the mechanism by which cola drinks are associated with bone fractures in physically active girls has neither been fully explored nor determined. Nevertheless, national concern and alarm about the health impact of carbonated beverage consumption on teenaged girls is supported by the findings of this study. The results have policy implications for improving the dietary practices and health of children.