Effect of sugar-sweetened drinks on small children — not good
We know that drinking lots of sugary drinks is bad for school-age children. A recent research article in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, asks a related question: What do we know about these drinks and younger children?
The authors examined the correlation between consumption of sugar-sweetend beverages and body mass index (BMI) in 9,600 children ages 2-5. Children who drank sugar-sweetened beverages for meals and snacks had a higher risk of being obese. Further, two-year-old children who continued to consume these drinks over the next several years had a steadily increasing BMI on average.
There is a good accompanying editorial to the article that reviews what we can or should do about this disturbing trend. The authors conclude:
To date most SSB policy discussion has neglected the youngest children. Isn’t it time to effect meaningful policies and implementation strategies to curb SSB consumption in our youngest children?