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Heavy Sugar Consumption in Black, Low-Income Kids

A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reports that black children and teens are more than twice as likely as white kids to consume sweetened fruit drinks on any given day. These fruit drinks include those that contain 100% actual fruit juice to those containing little actual fruit. The study showed that these kids are more likely to consume more than 500 calories a day from these beverages, which was considered heavy consumption in the research. The study also found that there has been a three-fold increase in the number of teens who consume sugary sports drinks.

Lisa Powell, of the University of Illinois at Chicago Health Policy Center and co-author of the study points out that while heavy consumption of sugary beverages fell among teens and young adults, the rates increased among kids aged two to eleven years, who drank more of the fruit flavored drinks. In addition, kids from lower socioeconomic groups of any race were also found to be twice as likely as wealthier kids to consume sugary beverages.

The investigators used surveys which included around 40,000 children, teens and adults who were asked about their consumption of sweetened beverages during a single 24-hour period from 1999 to 2008.

Powell believes that it is important to understand the way people are substituting one type of drink for another in order to develop policies for health promotion.

David Dausey, public health department chair of the Mercyhurst College Institute of Public Health in Erie, Pennsylvania adds this is a replacement effect that is troubling. However, the American Beverage Association believes that the new study does not present the full picture and that sugary beverages are playing a declining role in the diet of Americans and are not the primary cause of obesity.


Gray, K. Black, poor kids are heavy sugary drink consumers. Reuters.


Posted in: Healthy Eating, News Briefs, Nutrition, Obesity, Obesity in Children, Obesity in Teens, Overweight

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