CDC Study Reveals How Much Sugar Kids Drink Per Day

The National Center for Health Statistics released a study about sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among U.S. youth.

How many sugary beverages do you consume each day? How many do your kids drink per day? A new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics reveals just how many calories and added sugars kids are drinking per day.

While approximately one-half (49.3 percent) of U.S. adults drank one sugary beverage per day, nearly two-thirds (62.9 percent) of U.S. kids ages 2-19 consumed at least one sugar-sweetened beverage per day between 2011-2014, according to the study, which was released Jan. 26. It also found that roughly 30 percent of children consumed two or more sugar-sweetened beverages per day. On average, children consumed 143 calories and 7.3 percent of their daily energy intake from sugar-sweetened beverages.

“This study is important because consuming sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with weight gain, Type 2 diabetes, dental caries (cavities), and dyslipidemia (high cholesterol) in children, all of which have serious negative downstream health consequences,” said Asher Rosinger, Ph.D., M.P.H., in a article about the study.

For the report, sugar-sweetened drinks included regular soda, fruit drinks (sweetened bottled waters and fruit juices with added sugars), sports and energy drinks, and sweetened coffees and teas. The report did not count diet drinks, 100-percent fruit juice, beverages sweetened by participants, alcohol, or flavored milks.

The study also showed the differences in sugary beverage consumption among age, gender, and ethnic groups.

  • Calories consumed from sugar-sweetened beverages on a given day increased with age. On average, kids ages 2-5 consumed 62 calories, ages 6-11 consumed 118 calories, and ages 12-19 consumed 197 calories.
  • Boys consumed more calories from sugary drinks than girls across all age groups. On average, boys consumed 164 calories while girls consumed 121 calories.
  • Calories consumed from sugar-sweetened beverages differed by race and Hispanic origin. Across the board, non-Hispanic Asians consumed the least amount of calories from sugary beverages.
  • The percentage of total daily calories from sugar-sweetened drinks increased with age. Approximately 4 percent of daily calories came from sugary drinks for ages 2-5, while 9.5 percent of daily calories for ages 12-19 came from sugar-sweetened beverages.


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