Background: Increased intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and fruit juice has been associated with overweight in children.
Objective: This study prospectively assessed beverage consumption patterns and their relationship with weight status in a cohort of children born at different risk for obesity.
Methods and procedures: Participants were children born at low risk (n = 27) or high risk (n = 22) for obesity based on maternal prepregnancy BMI (kg/m(2)). Daily beverage consumption was generated from 3-day food records from children aged 3-6 years and coded into seven beverage categories (milk, fruit juice, fruit drinks, caloric and non-caloric soda, soft drinks including and excluding fruit juice). Child anthropometric measures were assessed yearly.
Results: High-risk children consumed a greater percentage of daily calories from beverages at age 3, more fruit juice at ages 3 and 4, more soft drinks (including fruit juice) at ages 3-5, and more soda at age 6 compared to low-risk children. Longitudinal analyses showed that a greater 3-year increase in soda intake was associated with an increased change in waist circumference, whereas a greater increase in milk intake was associated with a reduced change in waist circumference. There was no significant association between change in intake from any of the beverage categories and change in BMI z-score across analyses.
Discussion: Children's familial predisposition to obesity may differentially affect their beverage consumption patterns. Future research should examine the extent to which dietary factors may play a role in pediatric body fat deposition over time.