Daily Intake of Soft Drinks and Moderate-to-Severe Acne Vulgaris in Chinese Adolescents

J Pediatr. 2019 Jan:204:256-262.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.08.034. Epub 2018 Sep 28.


Objectives: To investigate the association of soft drink consumption and the intake of sugar from soft drinks with the prevalence of acne in adolescents.

Study design: This was a university-based epidemiologic investigation that included 8226 students who underwent health examinations and a questionnaire survey inquiring about the intake of soft drinks. Skin diseases were diagnosed by certificated dermatologists during the health examination. Two-level logistic and generalized additive models were used to estimate the associations, and aORs were presented as the effect size.

Results: A total of 8197 student survey responses were analyzed. Frequent intake (≥7 times per week) of carbonated sodas (aOR 1.61, 95% CI 0.96-2.72), sweetened tea drinks (aOR 2.52, 95% CI 1.43-4.43), and fruit-flavored drinks (aOR 1.90, 95% CI 1.18-3.07) was associated with moderate-to-severe acne after adjustments for confounders. The occasional intake of fruit-flavored drinks (1-2 times per week) had a weak protective effect on acne (aOR 0.86, 95% CI 0.74-0.99). The intake of sugar from any soft drinks showed a nonlinear association with acne (P < .01), and sugar intake ≥100 g/d was significantly associated with moderate-to-severe acne (aOR 3.12, 95% CI 1.80-5.41).

Conclusions: Daily soft drink consumption significantly increases the risk of moderate-to-severe acne in adolescents, especially when the sugar intake from any type of soft drink exceeds 100 g per day.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / epidemiology*
  • Acne Vulgaris / etiology
  • Adolescent
  • Asian People
  • Carbonated Beverages / adverse effects*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dietary Sugars / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


  • Dietary Sugars