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Reducing Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption in Overweight Adolescents


Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption has increased greatly among children since the 1960s, i parallel with the pediatric obesity epidemic, and now accounts for >10%of energy intake amon adolescents. Several lines of evidence suggest that sugar-sweetened beverage consumption has remarkably strong effect on body weight in overweight children: 1) mechanistic studies indicate that human do not compensate fully for the energy in sugar-containing liquids;2) cross-sectional studies find consisten associations betweeen consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and total energy intake or body weight 3) a longitudinal study found that risk of becoming obese in middle school students increased 60% for ever additional serving per day of sugar-sweetened beverage;4) short-term interventional studies found tha adults who substitute non-caloric for sugar-sweetened beverages loss weight;5) a school-based stud reported lower incidence of obesity among children counseled to reduce all soft drinks;6) our pilot dat indicate that the effect of decreasing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption on body weight in schoo children is highly correlated with baseline body weight, revealing a unique sensitivity among children abov the 85th percentile for BMI For this long-term, large-scale multi-site study, we have partnered with 5 high schools in the greate Boston area and a major regional supermarket. Participants will be 240 high school students who drink a least 1 serving of sugar-sweetened beverage per day and who have a BMI >85th percentile. Participant will be randomly assigned to intervention or control groups. The intervention, of 1-year duration, will b performed on the home environment (including delivery of non-caloric beverages as done in our pilot study and at the school (including education and behavioral modification aimed at reducing sugar-sweetene beverage consumption), focusing both on participants and the parents. Our primary endpoint will be chang in BMI z-score at 2 years (1 year after conclusion of the intervention). The study has been designed t demonstrate definitively whether or not an intervention focused exclusively on beverage consumption i efficacious in the prevention and treatment of obesity in children. These results should have immediat public health application, and aid in the design of future, comprehensive obesity prevention interventions.

Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.