Increasing trends in the consumption of commercial sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) have occurred in parallel with rising levels of obesity in Latin America, but data showing the relationship between these SSB and obesity are limited. The current study examined the association between commercial and traditional SSB and measures of adiposity in Costa Rica.
A cross-sectional analysis was conducted in which the exposure, SSB intake, was defined as frequency of daily servings of ‘fresco’ (a traditional home-made beverage), fruit drink (commercially available SSB), soda and fruit juice (made from fruits at home). Multivariate linear regression was used to estimate associations between SSB intake and BMI, waist-to-hip ratio and skinfold thickness.
Central Valley, Costa Rica.
Controls (n 2045) of a case–control study on diet and heart disease in Costa Rica.
Fresco, fruit drink, soda and fruit juice were consumed ≥1 time/d by 47 %, 14 %, 4 % and 14 % of the population, respectively. One serving/d of soda, fruit drink and fresco was associated with 0·89, 0·49 and 0·21 kg/m2 higher BMI, respectively (all P < 0·05). Fruit drink (≥1 serving/d) was associated with higher waist-to-hip ratio (P = 0·004), while soda and fresco were associated with higher skinfold thickness (P = 0·02 and 0·01, respectively). Associations with fruit juice intake were modest and not statistically significant. Other factors associated with higher BMI were higher income and less education, smoking and physical inactivity (all P < 0·05).
Increasing intake of commercially available SSB could be in part responsible for the high prevalence of obesity among Hispanic adults.
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