Sugar-added beverages consumption among kindergarten children of Crete: effects on nutritional status and risk of obesity

BMC Public Health. 2008 Aug 6;8:279. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-8-279.


Objective: To assess the intake of sugar-added beverages such as soft drinks and commercially available fruit juices in kindergarten children, and to examine its association with obesity indices, physical activity levels and dietary habits.

Methods: A total of 856 children aged 4-7 years living in Crete, Greece in 2004-5 were included in this cross-sectional study. Nutrient and food intake was assessed with the use of 3-day weighed food records. Body measurements were used in order to assess BMI and waist circumference, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was calculated with the use of a questionnaire.

Results: Approximately 59.8% of all children consumed sugar-added beverages on a daily basis. High intake of sugar-added beverages (> 250 g/day) was associated with low intakes of calcium (p < 0.001), vitamin A and E (p < 0.010), fruits and vegetables (p = 0.007), and milk and yogurt (p = 0.048). Compared to non or low consumers, high consumers of sugar-added beverages (> 250 g/day) had higher BMI levels and two times greater risk of being overweight and/or obese (OR:2.35, p = 0.023).

Conclusion: High intake of sugar-added beverages in kindergarten children is associated with poor eating habits and inadequate nutrient intake, as well as increased risk for developing childhood obesity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Beverages*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dietary Sucrose / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Sucrose / adverse effects
  • Energy Intake
  • Exercise
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Obesity / etiology*
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Dietary Sucrose