Temporal trends in the epidemic of childhood obesity have been paralleled by increases in the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) during childhood. Consumption has increased dramatically over the past several decades in all age ranges, with some moderation over the past 10 years. Evidence from cross-sectional, longitudinal, and interventional studies supports links between SSB consumption in childhood and unhealthy weight gain, as well as other untoward health outcomes. These data have stimulated public health efforts to curtail consumption as a means of improving childhood weight status and related health outcomes. Reducing ready access to SSBs, changing the message environment to which children are exposed, and replacing SSBs with healthier beverages have had moderate success in decreasing SSB consumption and curbing unhealthy weight gain.


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