Racial trends in sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among US adolescents: 1988-2004

Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2011;23(3):279-86. doi: 10.1515/ijamh.2011.056.


Background: Increased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) over the past two decades has been implicated in the increased incidence of metabolic disorders in the pediatric population, but whether racial differences exist with regard to SSB intake among adolescents is unknown.

Objective: To evaluate racial trends in SSB consumption in US adolescents.

Study group: In total, 10,201 individuals aged 12-19 years from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) during the years 1988-1994 and 1999-2004 were included in the study.

Methods: Multivariate linear regression analyses were performed to determine SSB consumption trends.

Results: From 1988 to 2004, SSB intake increased more in adolescents from racial minorities than in their Caucasian counterparts. Although other Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites consumed more SSBs than other racial groups at the beginning of the study, the amount of SSBs consumed by other racial groups increased in the interval time such that total SSB consumption in each racial group was comparable by the end of the study period. Sex-related differences in SSB consumption trends among racial groups were also observed.

Conclusions: SSB consumption trends have differed among racial groups and between the sexes over the past two decades, with SSB intake having increased more dramatically in racial minorities during this time than in non-Hispanic whites. Although other Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites consumed more SSBs than other racial groups in 1988-1991, SSB consumption among adolescents from all racial groups was comparable by 2003-2004. Furthermore, adolescents from most racial groups consumed more SSBs in 1994-2004 than in 1988-1994, paralleling the increase in pediatric obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Age Factors
  • Beverages / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child
  • Continental Population Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Dietary Sucrose*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • United States


  • Dietary Sucrose