Existing data was reexamined to determine changes in beverage consumption and associations between beverages consumed and BMI Z-score in children (n = 164) across two years.
Beverages (milk, 100% juice, diet soda or sugar sweetened) and total caloric intake were calculated from a 24-hour diet recall. Height and weight were measured to calculate BMI. Subjects were categorized by BMI Z-score as normal weight, overweight, gained weight and lost weight. Data was collected at baseline and year 2.
Significant decreases in milk and increases in diet soda were found over two years in all subjects and normal weight, whereas overweight had a significant increase in diet soda consumption and a decrease in milk consumption that did not reach significance. Change in milk consumption was inversely correlated with sugar-sweetened beverage consumption. Increases in diet soda consumption were significantly greater for overweight and subjects who gained weight as compared to normal weight subjects. Baseline BMI Z-score and year 2 diet soda consumption predicted 83.1% of the variance in year 2 BMI Z-score.
Shifts in beverage consumption were found in this convenient sample across two years. Diet soda consumption was the only type of beverage associated with year 2 BMI Z-score, and consumption was greater in overweight subjects and subjects who gained weight as compared to normal weight subjects at two years. Additional longitudinal data examining associations between beverage consumption and BMI is needed in children and adolescents, as consumption of regular and diet soda has become more of a social norm.
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"Recent studies have suggested that consumption of artificial sweeteners may lead to an increased risk of excessive weight gain, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease (Duffey, Steffen, Van Horn, Jacobs, & Popkin, 2012; Lutsey, Steffen, & Stevens, 2008; Yang, 2010). Several large-scale prospective cohort studies have found a positive correlation between artificial sweetener use and weight gain in adults (Colditz et al., 1990; Fowler et al., 2008; Stellman & Garfinkel, 1988) and in children (Berkey, Rockett, Field, Gillman, & Colditz, 2004; Blum, Jacobsen, & Donnelly, 2005; Striegel-Moore et al., 2006). Consistent with the findings of our study, artificial sweeteners appear to have more effects in males than in females (Berkey et al., 2004). "
"Several longitudinal studies [7-12] and a meta-analysis  have reported a direct association between intake of soft drink and other sweet drinks (a beverage category including fruit juice, fruit drink, cordial (a sweet, flavoured, concentrated syrup that is mixed with water to taste) and soft (carbonated) drinks) and weight gain in children and adolescents. Support for the association is not universal, however, with other longitudinal studies [14-17] and two meta-analyses [18,19] not supporting the association. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Intake of sweet drinks has previously been associated with the development of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents. The present study aimed to assess the consumption pattern of sweet drinks in a population of children and adolescents in Victoria, Australia.
Data on 1,604 children and adolescents (4–18 years) from the comparison groups of two quasi-experimental intervention studies from Victoria, Australia were analysed. Sweet drink consumption (soft drink and fruit juice/cordial) was assessed as one day’s intake and typical intake over the last week or month at two time points between 2003 and 2008 (mean time between measurement: 2.2 years).
Assessed using dietary recalls, more than 70% of the children and adolescents consumed sweet drinks, with no difference between age groups (p = 0.28). The median intake among consumers was 500 ml and almost a third consumed more than 750 ml per day. More children and adolescents consumed fruit juice/cordial (69%) than soft drink (33%) (p < 0.0001) and in larger volumes (median intake fruit juice/cordial: 500 ml and soft drink: 375 ml). Secular changes in sweet drink consumption were observed with a lower proportion of children and adolescents consuming sweet drinks at time 2 compared to time 1 (significant for age group 8 to <10 years, p = 0.001).
The proportion of Australian children and adolescents from the state of Victoria consuming sweet drinks has been stable or decreasing, although a high proportion of this sample consumed sweet drinks, especially fruit juice/cordial at both time points.
BMC Public Health 09/2012; 12(1):771. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-12-771 · 2.26 Impact Factor
"Whether or not a similar effect occurs in humans is more controversial. Many studies have found correlations between artificial sweetener use and weight gain (Blum, Jacobsen, & Donnelly, 2005; Colditz et al., 1990; Fowler et al., 2008; Stellman & Garfinkel, 1988). In addition, Appleton and Blundell (2007) showed a differential effect of sweet taste on appetite as a function of artificial sweetener use. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Controversy exists over whether exposure to artificial sweeteners degrades the predictive relationship between sweet taste and its post-ingestive consequences. Here we tested whether brain response to caloric sucrose is influenced by individual differences in self-reported artificial sweetener use. Twenty-six subjects participated in fMRI scanning while consuming sucrose solutions. A negative correlation between artificial sweetener use and amygdala response to sucrose ingestion was observed. This finding supports the hypothesis that artificial sweetener use may be associated with brain changes that could influence eating behavior.