Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine beverage consumption across age, sex, and race/ethnicity categories using the most current data available, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002.
Design: Beverage consumption that included fluid milk, fruit juices, regular and diet carbonated soft drinks, regular and diet fruit drinks/ades, coffee, and tea was examined among white, African-American, and Mexican-American persons in age groups 6 to 11 years, 12 to 19 years, 20 to 39 years, 40 to 59 years, and >60 years. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002 were used in this study.
Statistical analysis: Group means were estimated for the age group, sex, and race/ethnicity subgroups. The probability that any of these group means were equal to one another was tested using statistical software.
Results: The data showed marked differences in beverage consumption depending on age, sex, and race/ethnicity. In general, males consumed more beverages than did females. Specifically, white and Mexican-American persons of all ages consumed more milk than did African-American persons. On average, African-American males and females of all ages consumed significantly more fruit drinks/ades than did other race/ethnicity groups. In contrast, white persons consumed more carbonated soft drinks than did other race/ethnicity groups.
Conclusion: Average beverage consumption varied depending on age, sex, and race/ethnicity. Knowledge of differences in beverage consumption patterns is important for food and nutrition professionals and nutrition policymakers. Better understanding of the many factors that influence beverage consumption levels is needed.