Healthy Choices: Sugary Drinks Affect Toddlers

soft-drink_500The consumption of empty calories by children is having the effect of greater increase in their (BMI) Body Mass Index by the age of 5.   In a study just published in the journal Pediatrics, those children who consumed sugary drinks at younger ages like 2 years old, had increased their BMI in the next 2 years at ages 4 and 5 at a higher rate than those who did not consume them. 


While it makes no sense for government officials to set policy, certainly this study and others shows the need for parents to set policy in their own home and schools about beverage choices.  I am not sure how all of the different studies relate to each other, but it has also been found that those children who had 8 oz. of sugary drinks per day also were more likely to watch more than 2 hours of television daily.  Is that a parenting issue or are the two related in some other way?

Nonetheless all of this adds up to higher rates of obesity in our young people.  It is interesting too that increase of exercise in many children increases their ability to learn and focus.

The Balanced Life Skills Way

  1. Exercise regularly
  2. Reduce or eliminate the sugary drinks.  Check the labels to see what your child is taking into their body.
  3. Parental modeling of good habits – regular exercise routine, drink lots of water.

Healthy choices is one of our main headings of instruction for our students.  Healthy choices includes eating, exercise, friendships, and staying away from drugs.   Check out our most nutritious food chart at our studio.

Primary source: Pediatrics    Source reference: DeBoer MD, et al. “Sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain in 2- to 5-year-old children” Pediatrics 2013; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2013-0570.