Findings show variance, but consistent trend seen across the world
The prevalence of daily consumption of soft drinks is associated with the prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescent students globally, according to a study published online July 24 in JAMA Network Open.
Huan Hu, Ph.D., from the Research Center for Prevention from Radiation Hazards of Workers at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health in Kanagawa, Japan, and colleagues examined the association of soft drink consumption with overweight and obesity in 405,528 adolescents enrolled in school across 107 countries and regions.
The researchers found that the prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescent students varied from 3.3 percent in Cambodia to 64.0 percent in Niue. Similarly, the prevalence of adolescent students consuming soft drinks one or more times per day varied from 3.3 percent in Iceland to 79.6 percent in Niue, with a positive correlation noted between the prevalence of daily soft drink consumption and the prevalence of overweight and obesity (partial correlation coefficient, 0.44).
“In conjunction with the evidence from prospective cohort studies and randomized trials, our findings support that reducing soft drink consumption should be a prioritized approach for curbing the pandemic of overweight and obesity among adolescents,” the authors write.