Early Soda Drinking Tied to Unhealthy Diet

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., June 8 (UPI) — In a study of girls, U.S. researchers found the earlier the girls started drinking soda, the more likely they would be deficient in essential nutrients.

A 10-year study of 170 girls by Pennsylvania State University showed that girls who drank soda at age 5 had diets less likely than others to meet nutritional standards until the end of the study. Girls who did not drink soda by age 5 did not meet some nutritional guidelines, but their diets were healthier, the researchers said.

Laura Fiorito, a postdoctoral fellow at the university’s Center for Child Obesity Research, said the study found not only did the soda drinkers drink less milk, they also consumed fewer milligrams of fiber, protein, vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium.

Soda drinkers consumed 55 milligrams daily of calcium, while soda non-drinkers exceeded the daily recommendation of 65 mg by 10.5 milligrams daily.

Fiorito said children may develop drinking preferences by age 5.

“We think that the patterns develop when they are younger,” Fiorito said in a statement. “Some studies show that children already drinking soda or carbonated beverages at age 2.”

The findings are published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

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