Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and, to some extent, fruit juice are modifiable risk factors for childhood obesity. Data on consumption have not been previously systematically collected in the electronic health record (EHR) in a way that could facilitate observational research and population health management. In 2017 to 2018, we used data from an EHR-based SSB and fruit juice screener to study the association between consumption and weight status among children 6 months through 17 years of age. Our dataset included 22,291 children (15% <2 years; 23% 2-5 years; 34% 6-11 years; 28% 12-17 years) of diverse race/ethnicity (27% African American, 30% Hispanic). Sugary drink consumption was very common; 43% reported ≥2 per day. For children 6 to 17 years, greater consumption was associated cross sectionally with higher BMIz (eg, 6-11 years old children consuming ≥3/day had 0.27 (95% CI, 0.18, 0.36) higher BMIz vs those consuming <1/week). Sugary drink consumption was most associated with high BMIz in school-aged children. Early childhood may be a critical period for intervening on sugary beverage consumption in obesity prevention efforts.
Use of Electronic Health Record Data to Study the Association of Sugary Drink Consumption With Child Weight Status
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