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Exposure to liquid sweetness in early childhood : artificially-sweetened and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption at 4-5 years and risk of overweight and obesity at 7-8 years

Macintyre, A. K. and Marryat, L. and Chambers, S. (2018) Exposure to liquid sweetness in early childhood : artificially-sweetened and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption at 4-5 years and risk of overweight and obesity at 7-8 years. Pediatric Obesity.

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Abstract

Background: A significant gap exists in longitudinal evidence on early exposure to artificially-sweetened beverages (ASBs) and weight outcomes for paediatric populations. Objective: To examine the relationship between artificially-sweetened beverage (ASB) / sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption at 4-5 years and risk of overweight and obesity at 7-8 years. Methods: Data from a nationally representative cohort (n=2986) in Scotland were analysed using logistic regression to evaluate the association between exposure to ASBs/SSBs at 4-5 years and risk of overweight and obesity at 7-8 years. Results: There were positive unadjusted associations between ASB consumption and risk of obesity, and following adjustment for confounders ASB associations attenuated and only the middle consumption category (1 to 6 times per week) remained significant (Odds Ratio (OR) 1.57, 95% CI 1.05-2.36). For SSB consumption there were no significant unadjusted associations, and following adjustment for confounders only the middle consumption category was significant (OR 1.65, 95% CI 1.12- 2.44). There were no significant associations for risk of overweight. Conclusions: Longitudinal analysis from 4-5 years to 7-8 years demonstrated some evidence of associations between ASBs/SSB consumption and risk of obesity. However, non-linear patterns and wide confidence intervals suggests cautious interpretation and need for future studies with long term follow-up.