Beverage Consumption in the Diets of Children is Not Consistently Associated with Weight: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007-2014


  • Theresa A. Nicklas USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030
  • Carol E. O’Neil USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030
  • Victor L. Fulgoni III Nutrition Impact, LLC, Battle Creek, Michigan 49014



Beverage, consumption, NHANES, weight status, children.


Objectives: The objective of this study was to examine whether there was significant risk associated with types of beverages consumed on the weight status in children.

Design: Nationally representative cross-sectional sample.

Setting: Demographic information was obtained from the NHANES interviews. Dietary intake data were obtained from Day 1, in-person 24-hour dietary recall interviews administered using an automated multiple-pass method. Height and weight were obtained according to NHANES Anthropometry Procedures Manual.

Subjects: Children 2-18 years of age.

Results: The likelihood of being overweight or obese was not significant for any of the beverages studied between consumers and non-consumers. For the total sample, for every 29.6 mL of water consumed the risk of being obese was 1%. For ages 6-11 years water consumption increased the risk of being obese and in ages 2-5 years, consumption of sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) increased the risk of being obese. The risk of being obese was significant p <0.05 for Hispanic males for every 29.6 mL of water consumed and for 100% fruit juice and SSB for other males; increased risk was ?3%. The risk of being obese increased for White females for every 29.6 mL of flavored milk consumed and water consumption for both Black females and Hispanic females; the significant p<0.05 increased risk of obesity was ?7%.

Conclusions: Beverage consumption was not consistently associated with weight status in the diets of a nationally representative sample of children. In some cases the increased risk was very small.


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