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The purpose of this study was to determine the association between regular (sugar containing) and diet (artificially sweetened) soft drink consumption and obesity in children from 12 countries ranging in levels of economic and human development. The sample included 6162 children aged 9–11 years. Information on soft drink consumption was obtained using a food frequency questionnaire. Percentage body fat (%BF) was estimated by bio-electrical impedance analysis, body mass index (BMI) z-scores were computed using World Health Organization reference data, and obesity was defined as a BMI > +2 standard deviations (SD). Multi-level models were used to investigate trends in BMI z-scores, %BF and obesity across categories of soft drink consumption. Age, sex, study site, parental education and physical activity were included as covariates. There was a significant linear trend in BMI z-scores across categories of consumption of regular soft drinks in boys (p = 0.049), but not in girls; there were no significant trends in %BF or obesity observed in either boys or girls. There was no significant linear trend across categories of diet soft drink consumption in boys, but there was a graded, positive association in girls for BMI z-score (p = 0.0002) and %BF (p = 0.0001). Further research is required to explore these associations using longitudinal research designs.
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Katzmarzyk, Peter T.; Broyles, Stephanie T.; Champagne, Catherine M.; Chaput, Jean-Philippe; Fogelholm, Mikael; Hu, Gang; Kuriyan, Rebecca; Kurpad, Anura; Lambert, Estelle V.; Maia, Jose; Matsudo, Victor; Olds, Timothy; Onywera, Vincent; Sarmiento, Olga L.; Standage, Martyn; Tremblay, Mark S.; Tudor-Locke, Catrine; and Zhao, Pei, "Relationship between Soft Drink Consumption and Obesity in 9–11 Years Old Children in a Multi-National Study" (2016). Nutrients. 585.