Children who favor sports drinks over soda more active

October 1, 2010

It appears that not all sugar-sweetened beverages are created equal in terms of their association with healthy dietary practices and levels of physical activity.

It appears that not all sugar-sweetened beverages are created equal in terms of their associations with healthy dietary practices and levels of physical activity. A study published in the journal Pediatrics included more than 15,000 middle- and high-school students in Texas. Researchers examined the amount and type of sugar-sweetened beverages (sodas, noncarbonated flavored drinks, and sports drinks) the students consumed, as well as their activity levels and food choices.

Among the children who indicated they drank sugar-sweetened beverages, the most active were those who chose sports drinks and noncarbonated flavored drinks. Students who drank soda had more sedentary lifestyles.

Overall, children who drank any sugar-sweetened beverages also ate a greater amount of unhealthy foods, but children who drank sports drinks tended to make healthier food choices, including eating more fruits and vegetables. This correlation was statistically significant among the girls in the study.