Sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) are thought to play an important role in weight gain. We examined the relationship between the intake of caloric and noncaloric beverages (SSB and water) and the nutritional status of children. In 2014, we randomly selected 16 public health clinics in four cities of Northwest Argentina and conducted a survey among mothers of children 0-6 years of age. Children’s beverage intake was ascertained by 24-h dietary recall provided by the mothers. Children’s weight and height measures were obtained from clinic’s registries. We calculated the body mass index using the International Obesity Task Force standards. The analysis included 562 children 25 months to 6 years of age with normal or above normal nutritional status. Children’s beverage consumption was as follows, water 81.8%, carbonated soft drinks (CSD) 49.7%, coffee/tea/cocoa 44.0%, artificial fruit drinks 35.6%, flavored water 17.9%, natural fruit juice 14.5%. In multivariate logistic regression models the likelihood of being obese v. being overweight or having normal weight doubled with an intake of one to five glasses of CSD (OR=2.2) and increased by more than three-fold with an intake of more than five glasses (OR=3.5). Drinking more than five glasses of water decreased the likelihood of being obese by less than half (OR=0.3). The percentage of children drinking more than five glasses of other beverages was low (3.3-0.9%) and regression models did not yield significant results. The study contributed evidence for reducing children’s CSD intake and for promoting water consumption, together with the implementation of comprehensive regulatory public health policies.
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