Soda-drinking children end up lacking nutrients

November 21, 2000 in Nutrition for Children and Teenagers, Nutrition Topics in the News

Soda-drinking children end up lacking nutrients

A new survey of 4000 children aged 4 to 17 years shows that those who drink large quantities of soda may be selling themselves short of several important vitamins and minerals anew survey reports.

Soda drinkers aged 2 to 17 years were less likely to get the recommended levels of vitamin A, a nutrient necessary for vision and immunity. Children younger than 12 who drank soda were less likely to consume the recommended amount of calcium, a mineral needed for proper bone growth, and soda drinkers aged 6 and older were at increased risk of magnesium deficiency.

Children should be encouraged to drink milk and small quantities of pure, unsweetened juice rather than less nutrient-dense beverages. A decrease of one glass of carbonated soda coupled with an increase of one glass of milk or juice could have a substantial effect on a child's daily nutrient intake, the researchers stated.

Children who drank the most milk were more likely to get the recommended levels of vitamin A, folate, vitamin B12, calcium and magnesium, results show. And drinking 100% juice appeared to ensure that children consumed enough vitamin C and folate.

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