Soft drinks are often blamed for the increase of obesity in kids, but a new study has found that the fizzy drinks alone do no influence a child's weight.
The study, a recent scientific analysis of a nationally representative sample of children's diets and lifestyles by researchers in the UK found no link between the amount of soft drinks children consume and their body weight.
As a part of their study researchers led by Sigrid Gibson (SiG-Nurture Independent Nutrition Consultants), investigated sugars and soft drinks intake in 1294 children aged 7 - 18 years kids from the Government's National Diet and Nutrition Survey of Young People across the range of body weights seen in a nationally representative sample.
They found that though those with the highest BMI consumed almost 300 extra calories per day compared with children of normal body weight, only 5 percent of this extra energy (approx 14 calories) came from soft drinks.
In fact, the researchers noted that kids of normal weight tended to have a higher intake of sugar (also referred to as non-milk extrinsic sugars [NMES]) overall than those in the highest BMI category.
Mrs Gibson stated that the despite having a greater overall calorie intake (especially from fat and protein), overweight children consumed a similar amount of soft drinks to their leaner contemporaries.
"Overweight children consumed more food in general, and had a tendency towards more savoury than sweet foods. We found no evidence that overweight children derived a greater proportion of their energy from caloric soft drinks compared with leaner individuals," she said.
Instead, the researchers suggested that a general role of overeating and physical inactivity (from both lack of exercise and excess inactivity) that was to blame for obese British children.
"In this major British survey, overweight children had significantly longer sedentary periods than children of normal weight," she said.
The study is published in the September issue of International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.