Study: Two-thirds of kids drink at least one sugary drink per day

A new study found that two-thirds of U.S. youth drink at least one sugar-sweetened beverage on any given day.

And those drinks account for more than 7 percent of kids’ total daily calories, according to the study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

The U.S. dietary guidelines recommend keeping added sugar consumption to less than 10 percent of total calories and to choose beverages without added sugars. Studies have suggested a link between the consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and dental cavities, weight gain and Type 2 diabetes, among other issues, in children.

The CDC study looked at the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages – such as regular soda, fruit drinks (including sweetened bottled waters and fruit juices with added sugar), sports and energy drinks, and sweetened coffees and teas – among youth 2 to 19 years old.

During the study period (2011-14), about 63 percent of youth consumed at least one sugar-sweetened drink on any given day. More boys than girls (65 percent versus 61 percent) drank the sugary beverages.

Among boys, 33 percent drank one sugary drink per day, 20 percent consumed two and 12 percent drank three or more. Among girls, 34 percent drank one, 18 percent drank two and 10 percent consumed three or more sugary drinks per day, according to the study.

The percentage of calories consumed from sugary drinks significantly increased with age, the study found.

While the drinks accounted for 4 percent of calories for boys 2 to 5 years old, they accounted for 9 percent of calories among 12- to 19-year-old boys. The percentages were similar among girls.

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at or 360-735-4546.

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