Opposing Consumption Trends for Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Plain Drinking Water: Analyses of NHANES 2011–16 Data

  • 1MS-Nutrition, 27 bld Jean Moulin, Faculté de Médecine la Timone, Laboratoire C2VN, Marseille, France
  • 2PepsiCo Inc., Purchase, NY, United States
  • 3Center for Public Health Nutrition, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States

Background: Choosing water in place of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) can reduce added sugars while maintaining adequate hydration. The present goal was to examine 2011–16 time trends in SSB vs. water consumption across US population subgroups.

Methods: Dietary intake data for 22,716 persons aged >4 years came from two 24-h dietary recalls in successive cycles of the National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES 2011–16). Water intakes (in mL/d) from plain water (tap and bottled) and from beverages (SSB and not-SSB) were the principal outcome variables. Intakes were analyzed by age group, income to poverty ratio (IPR), and race/ethnicity. Time trends by demographics were also examined.

Results: SSB and water intakes followed distinct social gradients. Most SSB was consumed by Non-Hispanic Black and lower-income groups. Most tap water was consumed by Non-Hispanic White and higher-income groups. During 2011–16, water from SSB declined from 322 to 262 mL/d (p < 0.005), whereas plain water increased (1,011–1,144 mL/d) (p < 0.05). Groups aged <30 years reduced SSB consumption (p < 0.0001) but it was groups aged >30 years that increased drinking water (p < 0.001). Non-Hispanic White groups reduced SSB and increased tap water consumption. Non-Hispanic Black and lower income groups reduced SSB and increased bottled water, not tap.

Conclusion: The opposing time trends in SSB and water consumption were not uniform across age groups or sociodemographic strata. Only the non-Hispanic White population reduced SSB and showed a corresponding increase in tap water. Lower-income and minority groups consumed relatively little plain drinking water from the tap.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2020.587123/full

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