Objective: The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the association between consumption of sugar-sweetened and diet soft drinks with blood pressure (BP) in adolescents.
Methods: Fifth graders of 20 public schools were invited to participate in an intervention aimed at behavioral dietary changes and had their BP, weight, and height measured at baseline. Type and frequency of soft drink consumption were assessed using a food and beverages frequency questionnaire, and students were classified as nonconsumers, sugar-sweetened soft drink consumers, and diet soft drink consumers.
Results: Of the 574 students invited, 512 were examined and 488 had their BP measured. Of these, 25 (5.1%) reported to be nonconsumers, 419 (85.9%) were sugar-sweetened soft drink consumers, and 44 (9%) were diet soft drink consumers. Mean SBP and DBP were 101.3/57.8, 102.6/58.8, and 106.0/61.3 mmHg for these three groups of consumption, respectively. After adjustment for sex, age, BMI, physical activity, addition of salt to food, and education of the head of the family, SBP was 5.4 mmHg higher in the diet soft drink consumers group compared with the nonconsumers group and 3.3 mmHg higher compared with the sugar-sweetened consumers group (P value of trend = 0.01). Moreover, DBP was also higher among diet soft drink consumers compared with nonconsumers, with a difference of 3.3 mmHg, and compared with sugar-sweetened consumers, with a difference of 2.3 mmHg (P value of trend = 0.04).
Conclusion: The results indicate that the consumption of soft drink is associated with increased BP, which is further increased by drinking diet type sodas.