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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)...
Abstract Objective

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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