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Drinking Soda Pop at Age 5 Linked to Poor Nutrition at Age 15 in Girls

Good nutrition during childhood is an important component for healthy growth and development.  Good eating habits start young, as researchers at Penn State recently learned in a study of soda pop consumption among girls. They found out that girls that drink soda pop at age 5 about doubled their consumption by age 15 and had less healthy diets than girls that did not drink soda pop at age 5. 

The researchers learned that it wasn't so much what the girls drank, but what they didn't drink-- milk.  Soda pop drinking girls drank far less milk than girls that did not drink soda pop.  At age 15, in addition to having lower calcium levels, the soda pop drinkers had lower levels of other main nutrients, including Vitamin C, Vitamin D, protein, fiber, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, and potassium.  In addition, the soda pop drinking girls had higher levels of sugar intake. 

The researchers suspect that the girls modeled their unhealthy eating habits after their parents, who had higher body mass indexes than the parents of non-soda drinkers.  Although this study shows how childhood beverage choices impact diet, the researchers believe that drinking patterns and beverage choices begin before age five, with some researchers demonstrating that children as young as two drink soda pop.  The American Academy of Pediatrics has not issued a formal statement about limits on soda pop; however, there appears to be a direct link between soda pop consumption and an unhealthy diet.
 

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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.