Consider The Evidence: Med/Peds Journal Roundup

March 12, 2006

Soft drinks and pediatric obesity

Filed under: diet, health, pediatrics — medblog @ 10:47 am

Pediatrics 3/06 – Is the availability of sugary sodas contributing to the epidemic of pediatric obesity?
There is plenty of observational data on the subject, but not very many RCTs. An article in the most recent issue of Pediatrics lends some evidence to the argument. Ebbeling et al. investigated whether offering sugar-free beverages changes the diet patterns of children, and whether this leads to a corresponding weight loss. In the study, adolescents in the intervention group were randomly assigned to receive sugar-free beverages delivered to their home.

Among the children who recieved sugar free beverages, the drop in BMI was only significant in those children with a BMI > 30. Children in the intervention group actually lost some weight, while the control subjects gained weight. The results were not incredibly dramatic as the overall effect was less than 1 kg/m^2. However, it is impressive that such a change was caused by just one simple dietary intervention.

PEDIATRICS Vol. 117 No. 3 March 2006, pp. 673-680

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