Risk associations of obesity with sugar-sweetened beverages and lifestyle factors in Chinese: the 'Better Health for Better Hong Kong' health promotion campaign

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Dec;64(12):1386-92. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2010.181. Epub 2010 Sep 8.


Background/objectives: Excessive consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) increases risk of obesity. Similar data are lacking in Chinese populations with rapid nutritional transition. We aimed to examine the association between SSB intake, lifestyle factors and obesity in Hong Kong Chinese.

Subjects/methods: This is a cross-sectional survey on SSB intake with 2295 (49.6%) men and 2334 (50.4%) women (age: median 43.0 years, range 18-81 years). They were recruited from a territory-wide health promotion campaign in Hong Kong. All subjects completed a questionnaire and underwent simple health tests. Their SSB intake was based on a 1-week recall (1 unit of SSB=250 ml, frequent SSB consumption=daily intake ≥2 units).

Results: Men were more likely than women to smoke, drink alcohol, frequently consumed SSB (20.5 vs 9.5%) and ate more meat portions (2.32±0.57 vs 2.15±0.44) but were physically more active (no exercise: 31.2 vs 39.2%) (P-values: all <0.001). After adjusting for confounding factors, frequent SSB intake remained independently associated with obesity in women (odds ratio (95% confidence interval): 1.86 (1.36-2.55)) while physical inactivity (1.84 (1.41-2.39) for none vs regular), smoking (1.29 (1.05-1.58)) and high daily meat intake (2.15 (1.36, 3.42)) predicted obesity in men.

Conclusions: In Chinese of working age, SSB consumption in women and physical inactivity, smoking and high meat intake in men were associated with obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol Drinking / metabolism
  • Asians
  • Beverages / analysis*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Promotion*
  • Hong Kong / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / metabolism
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweetening Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Young Adult


  • Sweetening Agents