Beverage consumption and BMI of British schoolchildren aged 9-13 years

Tara Coppinger, Yvonne Jeanes, M Mitchell, S Reeves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Adequate fluid intake has been well documented as important for health but whether it has adverse effects on overall energy and sugar intakes remains under debate. Many dietary studies continue to refrain from reporting on beverage consumption, which the present study aimed to address.

DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey investigated self-reported measures of dietary intake and anthropometric measurements.

SETTING: Primary and secondary schools in south-west London, UK.

SUBJECTS: Boys and girls (n 248) aged 9–13 years.

RESULTS: Boys consumed 10 % and girls consumed 9 % of their daily energy intake from beverages and most children had total sugar intakes greater than recommended. Beverages contributed between a quarter and a third of all sugars consumed, with boys aged 11–13 years consuming 32 % of their total sugar from beverages. There was a strong relationship between consumption of beverages and energy intake; however, there was no relationship between beverage type and either BMI or BMI Z-score. Fruit juices and smoothies were consumed most frequently by all girls and 9–10-year-old boys; boys aged 11–13 years preferred soft drinks and consumed more of their daily energy from soft drinks. Milk and plain water as beverages were less popular.

CONCLUSIONS: Although current health promotion campaigns in schools merit the attention being given to improving hydration and reducing soft drinks consumption, it may be also important to educate children on the energy and sugar contents of all beverages. These include soft drinks, as well as fruit juices and smoothies, which are both popular and consumed regularly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1244-9
Number of pages6
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


  • Adolescent
  • Animals
  • Beverages
  • Body Mass Index
  • Carbonated Beverages
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Energy Intake
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Humans
  • London
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Milk
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Schools

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