Canadian researchers from the University of Ottawa report in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association that children who drink sugary drinks between meals are more than twice as likely to be overweight compared to children who don't drink the sugary beverages.
To examine the effects of sugar laden drinks on children's weight, researchers recruited 1,500 women with young children to fill out detailed dietary questionnaires when the children were 2.5, 3.5 and 4.5 years old.
The weight and height of the children was also reported.
Researchers found that children who regularly had sugar sweetened fruit drinks or soda at least four to six times per week were more than twice as likely to become overweight, compared to children who did not drink the sweet beverages.
The study did not include children who drank only 100% pure fruit juice.
Based on the findings, researchers suggest that parents limit the young children's intakes of sugar-sweetened drinks at meal times and snack times.
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