Background

Several studies revealed that increased intake of soft drinks in children is associated with a surge in obesity or metabolic disease. However, most of the studies in Korea are cross-sectional and just revealed that the relation with nutrition status and adibosity. We investigated the effect of cumulative soft drinks intake on the adiposity, weight status and metabolic indicators among Korean children and adolescents.

Methods

The study subjects were 215 boys and 245 girls (mean age 9.89 ± 0.31) who participated in 4th, 6th, 8th year of the Korean Child–Adolescent Cohort Study.We calculated cumulative average soft drink intake of 4th and 6th and categorized as consuming low: <1/weeks, middle: 1-2/weeks, high:≥2/weeks.MANOVA (profile analysis) was performed to assess longitudinal differences and patterns of change of the adiposity, weight status and metabolic indicators according to the intake of soft drink in the 4th to 6th period.

Results

In boys, BMI was highest in high intake group (19.0 -> 20.3 -> 21.5 kg/m²), BMI of high intake group in girls tended to be higher from the 4th to the 8th period. BMI change between intake groups during 6th to 8th period was a significant difference in sex (p<0.01). Percent body fat increased from 4th to 8th on average in girls but decreased in boys, and changes in percent body fat between the intake groups were more pronounced in boys than in girls. The higher intake, the higher the waist circumference of each period in boys. The difference between the groups at each time point was evident in the 8th period (63.1-> 68.6-> 74.7cm, p <0.04) in boys, but not in girls. The higher intake of soft drinks was, the significantly lower both boys and girls had HDL cholesterol level, as time goes by. (boys: 61.0->55.4->51.0 mg/dL, girls: 53.0->50.7->46.5 mg/dL, p<0.05 at 6th, 8th).

Conclusions

These findings provide longitudinal evidence that cumulative intake of soft drinks predicts adiposity, weight status and metabolic abnormality across childhood and adolescence.