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Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption is associated with visceral fat in children

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 August 2020

Claire Gallagher
Affiliation:
Department of Public Health, School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC 3086, Australia
George Moschonis
Affiliation:
Department of Dietetics, Nutrition and Sport, School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport, La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC 3086, Australia
Katrina A. Lambert
Affiliation:
Department of Public Health, School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC 3086, Australia
Eva Karaglani
Affiliation:
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Health Science and Education, Harokopio University, Kallithea, 176 71 Athens, Greece
Christina Mavrogianni
Affiliation:
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Health Science and Education, Harokopio University, Kallithea, 176 71 Athens, Greece
Stavroula Gavrili
Affiliation:
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Alexandra University and State Maternity Hospital, 115 28 Athens, Greece
Yannis Manios
Affiliation:
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Health Science and Education, Harokopio University, Kallithea, 176 71 Athens, Greece
Bircan Erbas*
Affiliation:
Department of Public Health, School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC 3086, Australia
*
*Corresponding author: Bircan Erbas, email b.erbas@latrobe.edu.au

Abstract

Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption has been associated with visceral fat partitioning in adults; however, the underlying mechanisms in childhood remain unclear and warrant exploration. This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the association between SSB consumption and body fat in children aged 9–13 years and the potential modifying effect of children’s sex and serum cortisol levels. A sample of 2665 Greek schoolchildren participated in the ‘Healthy Growth Study’, and anthropometric, body composition, dietary intake and serum cortisol data were assessed. SSB consumption was defined as low (<1 serving/d), medium (1–2 servings/d) or high (>2 servings/d). We used linear regression models to assess the association between SSB consumption and measures of adiposity and to assess effect modification; models were stratified by sex and tertiles of morning serum cortisol. A significant positive association was observed between high SSB consumption and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) (β = 1·4, 95 % CI 0·4, 2·3, P = 0·01) but not BMI or BMI z-score. When stratified by sex, the association was observed in boys (β = 1·8, 95 % CI 0·3, 3·4, P = 0·02) but not in girls. When stratified by cortisol levels, SSB consumption was associated with VAT in children with cortisol levels in the lowest tertile (β = 2·8, 95 % CI 1·0, 4·6, P < 0·01). These results indicate that increased SSB consumption is associated with visceral adiposity in schoolchildren and this association may be modified by sex and morning serum cortisol. To prevent VAT accumulation and concomitant disease risk, dietary interventions should target SSB consumption during childhood.

Type
Full Papers
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Nutrition Society

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Footnotes

These authors contributed equally to this work.

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