To estimate the net caloric impact from replacing sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) with alternatives in children and adolescents in naturalistic settings.
Secondary analysis based on nationally representative cross-sectional study.
Fixed-effect regression analysis of 2 nonconsecutive 24-hour dietary recalls from the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data.
Children and adolescents 2 to 19 years of age (N = 3098).
Within-person beverage consumption between 2 surveyed days.
Main Outcome Measures
The association between changes in the consumption of SSBs and other beverages and changes in total energy intake (TEI) of the same individual.
Each additional serving (8 oz) of SSB corresponded to a net increase of 106 kcal/d (P < .001; 95% confidence interval [CI], 91 to 121 kcal/d), holding other beverages constant. Increases were also seen (all P < .001) for each additional serving of whole milk (169 kcal/d; 95% CI, 143 to 195 kcal/d), reduced-fat milk (145 kcal/d; 95% CI, 118 to 171 kcal/d), and 100% juice (123 kcal/d; 95% CI, 90 to 157 kcal/d). No net increases in TEI were seen for water (8 kcal/d; P = .27; 95% CI, −6 to 22 kcal/d) or diet drinks (47 kcal/d; P = .20; 95% CI, −23 to 117 kcal/d). Substituting SSBs with water was associated with a significant decrease in TEI, controlling for intake of other beverages, total beverage and nonbeverages, and fast-food and weekend effects. Each 1% of beverage replacement was associated with 6.6-kcal lower TEI, a reduction not negated by compensatory increases in other food or beverages. We estimate that replacing all SSBs with water could result in an average reduction of 235 kcal/d.
Replacing SSB intake with water is associated with reductions in total calories for all groups studied.