Sugary Drink Consumption Among NYC Children, Youth, and Adults: Disparities Persist Over Time, 2007–2015

  • Tali Elfassy
  • Tamar Adjoian
  • Megan Lent
Original Paper


Sugary drink consumption is associated with many adverse health outcomes, including weight gain, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. These beverages are widely marketed and ubiquitously available. This analysis explores sugary drink consumption across all age groups among New York City (NYC) residents using representative survey data. Three population-based representative surveys of NYC residents of different age groups were analyzed. Adult participants, youth participants, and caregivers of child participants self-reported the number of sugary drinks they consumed per day. Mean sugary drink intake per day was estimated overall and by demographic characteristics, for the 2015 cycle of each survey and the 2007–2015 cycles of the adult survey. T tests were used to determine whether means differed by demographics. Long-term trends in mean sugary drink consumption among adult participants were conducted to examine changes over time overall and by demographic characteristics. In 2015, the mean daily number of sugary drinks consumed was 0.53 (95% CI 0.45, 0.61) among children 0–5 years old, 1.05 (95% CI 0.90, 1.21) among children 6–12 years old, and 1.16 (95% CI 1.09, 1.29) among NYC high school students. Among all NYC adults, sugary drink intake decreased 36% from 1.03 (95% CI 0.99, 1.08) in 2007 to 0.66 (95% CI 0.62, 0.70) drinks per day in 2015, p < 0.01. However, at each age level, there were persistent disparities in sugary drink consumption by sex, race/ethnicity, educational attainment, and poverty level. Decreasing overall rates of sugary drink consumption are promising; however, disparities by socio-demographics are a concern. Reducing sugary drink consumption across all ages is recommended as is minimizing the introduction at an early age. Reduction of sugary drink consumption will require a collaborative, multi-sectoral approach.


Sugary drinks Sugar-sweetened beverages SSBs 



The author thanked Amaka Anekwe, MS, RD.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest or financial disclosures to report.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public Health Sciences, Miller School of MedicineUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA
  2. 2.New York City Department of Health and Mental HygieneBureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Tobacco ControlLong Island CityUSA
  3. 3.New York City Department of Health and Mental HygieneBureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Tobacco ControlLong Island CityUSA

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