Children and young adults who do not drink water during the day drink more sugary beverages and thus consume more calories from these sugary drinks, suggests a new study published April 22, 2019 in JAMA Pediatrics. Plain water was defined in the study as tap or nonsweetened, noncarbonated bottled water.
Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) includes soda, sweetened fruit juices, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened tea and coffee drinks. They do not include 100% fruit juices, drinks sweetened with zero-calorie sweeteners, or drinks that are sweetened by the consumer, like coffee or tea brewed at home.
Analysis of data from the 2011-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey revealed that on a given day, about 20% of children reported drinking no water. No water intake was associated with intake of 92.9 kcal and 4.5% more calories from SSBs among participants aged 2 to 19 years. Additionally, those children consumed 200 calories from SSBs compared to children who did drink water.
Although the study did not establish causality, the message from the study is clear; sugar-sweetened beverages are not a substitute for water.
(Source: JAMA Pediatrics, April 22, 2019)