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Sociodemographic, behavioural and environmental correlates of sweetened beverage consumption among pre-school children

  • Roman Pabayo (a1) (a2), John C Spence (a1), Nicoleta Cutumisu (a1), Linda Casey (a3) and Kate Storey (a4)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 24 January 2012

To identify sociodemographic and environmental correlates of sweetened beverages (regular soft drinks, fruit juice) among children of pre-school age.


Children's dietary intake, food behaviours and screen time were measured by parental report. A Geographic Informational System was used to assess the number of grocery stores and fast-food restaurants available within 1 km of the children's residence. Multivariate log-binomial regression models were constructed to determine correlates of drinking soft drinks during the previous week.


Edmonton region, Canada.


Children aged 4 and 5 years (n 2114) attending a public health unit for immunization were recruited for a cohort study on determinants of childhood obesity, between 2005 and 2007.


Children from neighbourhoods with low socio-economic status (relative risk (RR) = 1·17, 95 % CI 0·98, 1·40) or who participated in >2 h of screen time daily (RR = 1·28, 95 % CI 1·13, 1·45) were significantly more likely to have consumed regular soft drinks within the last week. Those who lived within 1 km of a grocery store were significantly less likely to consume regular soft drinks (RR = 0·84, 95 % CI 0·73, 0·96). Children who participated in >2 h of screen time daily (RR = 1·16, 95 % CI 1·06, 1·27) were more likely to exceed the recommended weekly number of servings of fruit juice.


Socio-economic and built environment factors are associated with soft drink consumption in children of pre-school age. These findings may help health professionals to advocate for policies that reduce soft drink consumption among children.

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