Carbonated beverages consumption among New Zealand youth and associations with BMI and waist circumference

Gerhard Sundborn, Jennifer Utter, Tasileta Teevale, Patricia Metcalf, Rod Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: The primary aim of this study was to describe the carbonated beverage (soft drink) consumption patterns of New Zealand (NZ) youth and to investigate the influence that home availability of soft drinks had on their consumption. A secondary aim was to determine if there was an association between soft drink consumption and body mass index (BMI) or waist circumference.

Methods: Data from Youth '07, a nationally representative survey of the health and well-being of NZ youth, including 8,697 NZ students aged 13 to 17 years, were analysed.

Results: The relevant data was available for 8697 students of whom 4633 identified as NZ European. 1621 Māori, 1.098 Asian, 834 Pacific, and 504 Other. Twenty nine percent (29%) were categorised as high consumers of soft drinks (>4 times a week), 45.4% were moderate consumers (1-3 times a week), and 25.6% were low consumers (had not consumed soft drinks in the past week). Male gender, Pacific ethnicity, and high deprivation were all significantly associated with being in the high consumer group. Fifty eight percent (58%) of children who reported that soft drinks were 'usually' available at home were in the high consumption group, compared to 15.1% of children who reported that these drinks were never available at home. After adjusting for possible confounders, waist circumference was significantly associated with soft drink consumption (p<0.05), however, BMI was not. Mean soft drink consumption for boys was 3.5 times per week and was 2.0 for girls.

Conclusion: This study provides detailed information on soft drink consumption patterns of NZ youth and highlights factors associated with high consumption. Moderating the availability of soft drinks in the home is likely to significantly reduce their consumption among NZ youth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-86
JournalPacific Health Dialog
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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