Adolescent boys in Taiwan had a significantly greater risk for metabolic syndrome when consuming more than 500 mg sugar-sweetened beverages daily, compared with adolescent girls and nondrinkers, according to data from a recent study.
Researchers used a multistage-sampling strategy among a cohort of 2,727 adolescents from 36 schools throughout southern Taiwan between 2007 and 2009. Students, aged 12 to 16 years, completed two surveys — one containing demographics, lifestyle behaviors and disease history and the other on daily dietary habits during the previous month — and blood samples also were drawn. Researchers analyzed data using multiple regression and logistic models to determine gender-specific associations between sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) and metabolic syndrome (MetS).
Data showed high SSB consumption was associated with high metabolic risk cluster among both sexes; with boys tending to consume more SSB than girls (32.1% vs. 18.5%). Adolescents who drank more than 500 mL SSB daily showed an increased risk for high overall metabolic risk; boys had a 10.3-fold risk for contracting MetS by International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria (95% CI, 1.2-90.2) and 5.1-fold risk (95% CI, 1.01-25.5) by Cook criteria. By comparison, girls displayed 6.5-fold (P=.049) and 5.9-fold (P=.085) risks for MetS by IDF and Cook criteria, respectively. Moderate and high-consuming male SSB drinkers had greater triglyceride levels (8 mg/dL and 8.2 mg/dL, respectively), compared with nondrinkers.
Greater overall metabolic risk was associated with high SSB consumption in boys (adjusted OR=2.7; 95% CI, 1.3-5-7) and girls (aOR=1.9; 95% CI, 1.1-3.1).
“The present results indicated that boys who consumed a high amount of SSB exhibited a 5.1- to 10.3-fold risk of developing MetS, even if the prevalence of this metabolic disorder is low,” the researchers wrote. “A high SSB intake is associated with adolescent MetS among boys, but not girls in Taiwan.”
The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.