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Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption in early childhood is a public health concern. Adequate hydration in early childhood is also important. We developed a national research agenda to improve beverage consumption patterns among 0–5-year-olds. This article focuses on the process used to develop this research agenda.
A mixed methods, multi-step process was used to develop the research agenda, including: (i) a scientific advisory committee; (ii) systematic reviews on strategies to reduce SSB consumption and increase water access and consumption; (iii) two stakeholder surveys to first identify and then rank strategies to reduce SSB consumption and increase water access and consumption; (iv) key informant interviews to better understand determinants of beverage consumption and strategies to improve beverage consumption patterns among high-risk groups; (v) an in-person convening with experts; and (vi) developing the final research agenda.
This process included research and stakeholders from across the United States.
A total of 276 participants completed survey 1 and 182 participants completed survey 2. Key informant interviews were conducted with 12 stakeholders. Thirty experts attended the convening, representing academia, government, and non-profit sectors.
Thirteen key issue areas and 59 research questions were developed. Priority topics were beverage consumption recommendations, fruit-flavoured drink consumption, interventions tailored to high-risk groups, and family engagement in childcare.
This research agenda lays the groundwork for research efforts to improve beverage patterns of young children. The methods used can be a template to develop research agendas for other public health issues.
To evaluate whether a multipronged pilot intervention promoting healthier beverage consumption improved at-home beverage consumption and weight status among young children.
In this exploratory pilot study, we randomly assigned four childcare centres to a control (delayed-intervention) condition or a 12-week intervention that promoted consumption of healthier beverages (water, unsweetened low- or non-fat milk) and discouraged consumption of less-healthy beverages (juice, sugar-sweetened beverages, high-fat or sweetened milk). The multipronged intervention was delivered via childcare centres; simultaneously targeted children, parents and childcare staff; and included environmental changes, policies and education. Outcomes were measured at baseline and immediately post-intervention and included children’s (n 154) at-home beverage consumption (assessed via parental report) and overweight/obese status (assessed via objectively measured height and weight). We estimated intervention impact using difference-in-differences models controlling for children’s demographics and classroom.
Two northern California cities, USA, 2013–2014.
Children aged 2–5 years and their parents.
Relative to control group children, intervention group children reduced their consumption of less-healthy beverages from baseline to follow-up by 5·9 ounces/d (95 % CI −11·2, −0·6) (–174·5 ml/d; 95 % CI –331·2, –17·7) and increased their consumption of healthier beverages by 3·5 ounces/d (95 % CI −2·6, 9·5) (103·5 ml/d; 95 % CI –76·9, 280·9). Children’s likelihood of being overweight decreased by 3 percentage points (pp) in the intervention group and increased by 3 pp in the control group (difference-in-differences: −6 pp; 95 % CI −15, 3).
Our exploratory pilot study suggests that interventions focused comprehensively on encouraging healthier beverage consumption could improve children’s beverage intake and weight. Findings should be confirmed in longer, larger studies.
Many studies of food intake have been performed and published in Sweden, but to our knowledge no studies have extensively explored the beverage consumption of the Swedish adult population. The present study aimed to describe the beverage consumption and the contribution of beverage energy (including alcohol energy) to total energy intake according to gender, region of living, meal type and day for a Swedish adult population.
National dietary survey Riksmaten (2010–2011), collected by the Swedish National Food Agency.
A total of 1682 participants (57 % women) reported dietary intake data during four consecutive days, specified by portion size, meal, time point, day of the week and venue. Meals were categorized as breakfast, lunch, dinner and ‘other’.
The beverage reported to be consumed the most was water (ml/d), followed by coffee. Men had a higher consumption of juice, soft drinks, beer, spirits and low-alcohol beer, while the consumption of tea and water was higher for women. For both genders, milk contributed the most to beverage energy intake. Energy percentage from beverages was higher at lunch and dinner during weekends for both genders. Participants from the biggest cities in Sweden had a higher consumption of wine for both genders and tea for men than participants from other regions.
A considerable part of total energy intake was contributed by beverages, especially for men. Beverages can contribute to a more enjoyable diet, but at the same time provide energy, sugar and alcohol in amounts that do not promote optimal health.
To examine the consumption of plain water among children in France and compare total water intakes with guidelines issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
Nationally representative data were used to assess food, beverage and water consumption by sex, age group (4–8 years, 9–13 years), income-to-poverty ratio, eating occasion and location. Beverages were classified into nine groups: water (tap or bottled), milk, 100 % fruit juice, sodas, fruit drinks, hot beverages, sports drinks and flavoured waters. Total water volume in relation to energy intake (litres/kcal) was also examined.
INCA 2 study (Étude Individuelle Nationale des Consommations Alimentaires 2006–2007).
French children (n 835) aged 4–13 years.
Total water intakes were accounted for by plain water (34 %), beverages (26 %) and food moisture (40 %). Plain water could be tap (18 %) or bottled (16 %). Older children drank more plain water than did younger children and boys drank more plain water than did girls. No socio-economic gradient for plain water consumption was observed. About 90 % of children did not meet the EFSA water intake recommendations. The daily water shortfall ranged from 367 to 594 ml/d. Water-to-energy ratio was 0·75–0·77 litres/1000 kcal (4184 kJ). Children drank milk at breakfast and plain water during lunch and dinner. Caloric beverages provided 10 % of dietary energy; consumption patterns varied by eating location.
Total water intakes among young children in France were below EFSA-recommended levels. Analyses of beverage consumption patterns by eating occasion and location can help identify ways to increase water consumption among children.
To describe changes in consumption of different types of beverages from pre-pregnancy to early pregnancy, and to examine associations with maternal age, educational level and BMI.
Cross-sectional design. Participants answered an FFQ at inclusion into a randomized controlled trial, the Fit for Delivery (FFD) trial, in median gestational week 15 (range: 9–20), reporting current consumption and in retrospect how often they drank the different beverages pre-pregnancy.
Eight local antenatal clinics in southern Norway from September 2009 to February 2013.
Five hundred and seventy-five healthy pregnant nulliparous women.
Pre-pregnancy, 27 % reported drinking alcohol at least once weekly, compared with none in early pregnancy (P<0·001). The percentage of women drinking coffee (38 % v. 10 %, P<0·001), sugar-sweetened beverages (10 % v. 6 %, P=0·011) and artificially sweetened beverages (12 % v. 9 %, P=0·001) at least daily decreased significantly from pre-pregnancy to early pregnancy, while the percentage of women who reported to drink water (85 % v. 92 %, P<0·001), fruit juice (14 % v. 20 %, P=0·001) and milk (37 % v. 42 %, P=0·001) at least daily increased significantly. From pre-pregnancy to early pregnancy higher educated women reduced their consumption frequency of coffee significantly more than women with lower education. Older women reduced their consumption frequency of coffee and artificially sweetened beverages and increased their consumption frequency of fruit juice and milk significantly more than younger women.
There is a significant change in beverage consumption from pre-pregnancy to early pregnancy among Norwegian nulliparous women.
To determine the association of beverage consumption with obesity in Mexican American school-aged children.
Cross-sectional study using the baseline data from a cohort study. Mothers and children answered questions about the frequency and quantity of the child's consumption of soda, diet soda, other sugar-sweetened beverages, 100 % fruit juice, milk and water. The questions were adapted from the Youth/Adolescent FFQ. Children were weighed and measured. Data were collected on the following potential confounders: maternal BMI, household income, maternal education, maternal occupational status, maternal acculturation, child physical activity, child screen time and child fast-food consumption. Logistic regression was used to examine the association between servings (240 ml) of each beverage per week and obesity (BMI ≥ 95th percentile).
Participants were recruited from among enrolees of the Kaiser Permanente Health Plan of Northern California. Data were collected via an in-home assessment.
Mexican American children (n 319) aged 8–10 years.
Among participants, 20 % were overweight and 31 % were obese. After controlling for potential confounders, consuming more servings of soda was associated with increased odds of obesity (OR = 1·29; P < 0·001). Consuming more servings of flavoured milk per week was associated with lower odds of obesity (OR = 0·88; P = 0·004). Consumption of other beverages was not associated with obesity in the multivariate model.
Discouraging soda consumption among Mexican American children may help reduce the high obesity rates in this population.
To investigate the beverage intake patterns of Canadian adults and explore characteristics of participants in different beverage clusters.
Analyses of nationally representative data with cross-sectional complex stratified design.
Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 2·2 (2004).
A total of 14 277 participants aged 19–65 years, in whom dietary intake was assessed using a single 24 h recall, were included in the study. After determining total intake and the contribution of beverages to total energy intake among age/sex groups, cluster analysis (K-means method) was used to classify males and females into distinct clusters based on the dominant pattern of beverage intakes. To test differences across clusters, χ2 tests and 95 % confidence intervals of the mean intakes were used.
Six beverage clusters in women and seven beverage clusters in men were identified. ‘Sugar-sweetened’ beverage clusters – regular soft drinks and fruit drinks – as well as a ‘beer’ cluster, appeared for both men and women. No ‘milk’ cluster appeared among women. The mean consumption of the dominant beverage in each cluster was higher among men than women. The ‘soft drink’ cluster in men had the lowest proportion of the higher levels of education, and in women the highest proportion of inactivity, compared with other beverage clusters.
Patterns of beverage intake in Canadian women indicate high consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages particularly fruit drinks, low intake of milk and high intake of beer. These patterns in women have implications for poor bone health, risk of obesity and other morbidities.
To analyse (i) differences in beverage pattern among Norwegian children in 2001 and 2008; (ii) beverage intake related to gender, parental education and family composition; and (iii) potential disparities in time trends among the different groups.
Within the Fruits and Vegetables Make the Marks (FVMM) project, 6th and 7th grade pupils filled in a questionnaire about frequency of beverage intake (times/week) in 2001 and 2008.
Twenty-seven elementary schools in two Norwegian counties.
In 2001 a total of 1488 and in 2008 1339 pupils participated.
Between 2001 and 2008, a decreased consumption frequency of juice (from 3·6 to 3·4 times/week, P = 0·012), lemonade (from 4·8 to 2·5 times/week, P < 0·001) and regular soft drinks (from 2·7 to 1·6 times/week, P < 0·001), but an increased consumption frequency of diet soft drinks (from 1·2 to 1·6 times/week, P < 0·001), were observed. From 2001 to 2008, boys increased their frequency of juice consumption (from 3·1 to 3·3 times/week) whereas girls decreased their frequency of juice consumption (3·8 to 3·4 times/week; interaction time × gender P = 0·02). Children with higher educated parents increased their frequency of juice consumption (3·6 to 3·8 times/week) whereas those with lower educated parents decreased their frequency of juice consumption (3·3 to 3·0 times/week; interaction time × parental education P = 0·04).
A lower frequency of consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was observed among pupils in 2008 than in 2001. This is in accordance with the Norwegian health authority's goals and strategies for this time period, and is an important step to improve the dietary health of adolescents.
Drinking habits in children are associated with diet quality, but validated assessment tools for large-scale studies in young children are lacking. Therefore, we validated a self-completion 24 h recall questionnaire (RQ) focusing on beverage consumption with a 24 h weighed record (WR).
Thirty-five voluntary participants from the DONALD (Dortmund Nutritional and Anthropometric Longitudinally Designed) Study cohort aged 7–9 years completed the RQ. The illustrated RQ required ticking the number of glasses of seven beverage categories consumed in five time intervals in the previous 24 h. As a reference, parents completed weighed records of their child’s diet. Agreement between the RQ and WR was tested by classification into consumers and non-consumers (kappa coefficients, κ), by the children’s ability to estimate the exact beverage and total volume consumed (Wilcoxon signed-rank test, Spearman rank correlation), and by ranking children according to reported beverage volumes.
The RQ and WR showed a good level of agreement for classifying participants into consumers and non-consumers of the single beverage categories (κ values between 0·78 and 0·94). Correlation coefficients for the volume of the single categories ranged between 0·81 and 0·91. The total beverage volume was overestimated in the RQ, on average, by 114 ml (P = 0·015). Agreement in ranking into tertiles by beverage volume was moderate to good for juice/soft drinks (κ = 0·44), milk (κ = 0·57) and water (κ = 0·70), but fair for the total beverage volume (κ = 0·23).
Our self-completion 24 h RQ could estimate the consumption of several beverage categories among young children at the group level, but quantification of total beverage volume was flawed.
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