Saskatoon, SK, Canada—A Canadian study found little link between beverage drinking habits and cases of overweight and obesity in children. Using data from a national health survey, the researchers analyzed over 10,000 Canadian children aged 2–18.

The children were grouped into five clusters, consisting of 2–5 year old males and females, and two groups each for ages 6–11 and 12–18 divided by sex. Beverage habits formed the basis for another set of clusters, which included divisions between those who drank mostly fruit drinks, soft drinks, 100% juice, milk, high-fat milk or varied beverages.

Drink pattern data were originally collected based on 24-hour recall of beverages consumed the previous day. The researchers accounted for other factors contributing to weight, and then paired subject weights with their drink patterns for each of the age clusters. Wrote the study authors, “Although we saw no consistent relationship between sweetened beverage patterns of intake and overweight and obesity, boys aged 6–11 years who consumed mostly soft drinks may be at increased risk for overweight and obesity as compared with those who drank a more moderate beverage pattern, after adjusting for confounders.”

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, August 2012