Objective: To explore the associations between sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption and obesity as well as obesity-related cardiometabolic disorders among children in China.
Methods: A total of 6974 (boys 3558, girls 3412) children aged 6-13 years participated in the study. Each participant's height, weight, waist circumference, fasting glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were measured. The type of beverage consumption was determined using a self-administered questionnaire.
Results: SSBs were consumed regularly by 46.1% of the children. The prevalence [adjusted odds ratio (95% confidence internal (CI)] of obesity was 7.6% [as the reference group (ref.)], 10.1% [1.36(1.07, 1.74)], and 11.6% [1.46(1.21, 1.75)], among children who regularly drank milk, other beverages and SSBs, respectively. Regularly drinking SSBs elevated the likelihood of abdominal obesity [adjusted odds ratio (95% CI): 1.36 (1.17, 1.59)]. The prevalence [adjusted odds ratio (95% CI)] of obesity among children who regularly drank sports/caloric beverages, carbonated beverages, sweet tea, and plant protein beverages was 16.8% [2.00(1.31, 3.07)], 12.7% [1.52(1.23, 1.88)], 11.5% [1.52(1.18, 1.95)], and 10.4% [1.41(1.03, 1.94)], respectively, which was higher than that of regular milk drinkers [7.6 % (ref.)]. The prevalence [adjusted odds ratio (95% CI)] of abdominal obesity among children who regularly drank sweet tea, fruit/vegetable juices, and carbonated beverages was 17.7% [1.55(1.26, 1.90)], 16.2% [1.36(1.09, 1.70)], and 15.3% [1.24(1.03, 1.50)], respectively, which was much higher than that of regular milk drinkers [12.8% (ref.)].
Conclusions: Regular SSB consumption was positively related to obesity and abdominal obesity. This relationship should be investigated further using a longitudinal study design.