A new study says that consumption of soda at an early age in girls is indicative of an unhealthy diet through adolescence.
They study showed that girls who drank soda at age five had diets that were less likely to meet nutritional standards for the duration of the study, which ended at age 15. Girls who did not drink soda at age five did not meet certain nutritional requirements, but their diets were healthier.
Soda drinkers drank far less milk than non-soda drinkers, and milk has all of the nutrients that differed between the groups except fibre.
"Adequate nutrient intake is important for optimal health and growth," the researchers reported.
For example, low calcium intake may lead to bone fractures, higher added sugar may cause dental problems and the development of several chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.
The Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, recommends that girls between age 14 and 18 receive at least 65 milligrams of vitamin C daily. In this study, soda drinkers fell short at just 55 milligrams daily, while non-soda drinkers exceeded the recommendation at 70.5 milligrams daily.
The study also found that the consumption of soda intake in soda drinkers increased even more after 15 compared to their counterparts. Laura Fiorito, postdoctoral fellow in Penn State's Center for Child Obesity Research, suggested that "parents model consumption patterns for their children," and that the parents' unhealthy eating habits not only contributed to an increased BMI, but influenced children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a formal statement in 2001 that recommended limits on children's fruit juice intake, but none on soda. his study provides a clear link showing that soda can prevent people from maintaining a healthy diet.
It was published in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.