Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Child Health: Implications for Policy
Purpose of Review
Various policies to reduce sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) consumption in children have been implemented. Here, we review the evidence on whether these policies are effective in reducing SSB intake and whether a reduction in SSB intake results in a concomitant reduction in child obesity. We also highlight ethical concerns with such efforts.
The evidence supporting relationship between SSB consumption and child body mass index (BMI) is consistently small and lacks causality. The effects of policies are unclear; taxation has no clear relationship to SSB purchasing, innovative marketing outlets make it difficult to examine the effects of restricting marketing on SSB consumption, and there is no evidence that reducing SSB availability in schools decreases consumption.
Research studies with rigorous and reproducible study designs are needed to examine whether reducing SSB consumption reduces child obesity, and to identify implementable policies that not only reduce SSB consumption but also child weight.
KeywordsSugar-sweetened beverage Child obesity Policies Soda tax Nutrition labeling Food advertising Food marketing School nutrition SSB consumption Beverage consumption
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Shabnam Momin and Alexis C. Wood declare they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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