Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and central and total adiposity in older children: a prospective study accounting for dietary reporting errors

Public Health Nutr. 2015 May;18(7):1155-63. doi: 10.1017/S1368980014001700. Epub 2014 Aug 28.


Objective: To determine the prospective relationship between changes in sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intake and central adiposity in older children.

Design: Dietary intakes of children were obtained by 3 d food records at ages 10 and 13 years. Waist circumference (WC) and weight and height to determine BMI were measured at 10 and 13 years and total body fat mass (TBFM) at 13 years by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Analyses were conducted using multivariable linear regression. Reporting errors were measured and participants were categorized as under-, plausible and over-reporters of dietary intakes.

Setting: Community-based British cohort of children participating in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children.

Results: Among 2455 older children, increased SSB consumption from ages 10 to 13 years was associated with higher WC (standardized β=0.020, P=0.19), BMI (β=0.028, P=0.03) and TBFM (β=0.017, P=0.20) at 13 years. Effects were strengthened among plausible dietary reporters (n 1059): WC (β=0.097, P<0.001), BMI (β=0.074, P<0.001) and TBFM (β=0.065, P=0.003). The association between change in SSB and WC was weakened, but remained statistically significant after accounting for BMI (β=0.042, P=0.02) and TBFM (β=0.048, P=0.01).

Conclusions: Higher consumption of SSB from ages 10 to 13 years was associated with a larger WC at age 13 years independent of differences in total adiposity. Accounting for dietary reporting errors strengthened associations. Our findings further support recommendations to limit intakes of SSB to reduce excess weight gain in children and suggest that SSB have an additional deleterious effect on central adiposity.

Keywords: Obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adiposity*
  • Adolescent
  • Beverages / adverse effects*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Diet Records
  • Dietary Sucrose / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Sucrose / adverse effects*
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Obesity, Abdominal / epidemiology
  • Obesity, Abdominal / etiology*
  • Pediatric Obesity / epidemiology
  • Pediatric Obesity / etiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Self Report
  • Waist Circumference


  • Dietary Sucrose