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Sweet Drinks Linked to Overweight Children

A scientific study published in the February 2005 issue of the journal Pediatrics published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, shows that sweet drinks, whether Kool-Aid with sugar, soda or all-natural apple juice cause an increase in the weight of preschoolers. The study suggested that even one or two drinks per day can add on the pounds.

The study showed that children who were normal or underweight were only at a slight risk of becoming overweight from consuming sweet drinks. However, children who were at risk for being overweight, or who were already overweight, and who drank 1-2 sweet drinks per day were on average more than twice as likely to become overweight or gain weight.

Lead researcher Jean Welsh of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that preschoolers were better off snacking on fruit or drinking water or milk. She commented, "Sweet drinks are a source of added sugar in the diet." She also noted that, "Juice is definitely a part of this." She noted that fruit juice does have vitamins but that it is inferior to actually eating fruit which also contains fiber.

The February 7, 2005 issue of WebMD, reporting on the same study stated, "Researchers say excess weight in children is associated with numerous medical problems including high blood pressure, diabetes, lung problems, and psychological and social problems. Overweight children are more likely to be overweight adults."

The published study summed up their results by saying, "The problem of increasing overweight among children has prompted a search for factors that contribute to this trend. Our study provides evidence that the consumption of sweet drinks as infrequently as 1 to 2 times daily increases the odds of becoming overweight among those who are at risk for overweight at baseline and of remaining overweight among those who are already overweight by 60% or more."