Drinking lots of soda and juicy drinks could make kids obese, says a new US study. The finding comes from a study of 154 girls seen every two years since age five by Alison K. Ventura and other researchers at Pennsylvania State University, according to the online edition of health magazine WebMD.
By age 13, 14 percent of the girls already showed high risk of developing metabolic syndrome - a cluster of ominous risk factors that indicate a person could be headed toward heart disease, stroke, or Type 2 diabetes, the researchers report in the December issue of journal 'Pediatrics'.
These girls were at or near the danger level for three metabolic syndrome risk factors -- big waistline, high blood pressure, and a low level of good HDL cholesterol.
Their parents tended to be more obese and to have more obesity-related health problems than other parents. Indeed, the high-risk girls gained more weight -- and gained weight faster -- than other girls.
However, the only significant difference in their diet was that, at young ages, they drank more sugary beverages than other girls.
"We found the highest risk group was consuming more servings of these sweetened beverages at age five to nine, compared to other groups," Ventura was quoted as saying.
"At the later ages it was more soda, but in the earlier ages it was things like 10 percent fruit juices, sports drinks, and flavoured beverages with added sugar."