Study raises concerns about children’s hydration levels, soda consumption

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / Alfira Poyarkova
© Getty Images / Alfira Poyarkova
Children and adolescents across Latin America are not meeting fluid intake recommendations, raising concerns about their hydration status, says a new study.

An international team of researchers led by Danone Research report that on 33-44% of children and adolescents in Mexico failed to meet the recommendations for adequate intake (AI) of water from fluids as recommended by the USA Institute of Medicine.

For Argentina and Brazil, the data showed that 64-72% and 41-50% obtained AI, respectively. The best results were obtained in Uruguay where more than 75% of children met the IOM’s recommended intake.

In contrast, the researchers reported that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) is increasing across the region.

“[T]he proportion of children drinking one serving of SSB daily is a reason for concern, given the negative effects of SSB consumption on children’s health. These observations provide valuable information to support current and future public policies and programs, aimed at installing healthier drinking habits in children and adolescents in the Latin American region,” ​wrote the researchers in the European Journal of Nutrition​.

The study is said to be the first report comparing IOM recommended intake of water from fluids for children and adolescents in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.

Study details

The researchers, led by Danone’s Isabelle Guelinckx, assessed data from 733 children (aged 4-9) and 933 adolescents (aged 10-17) using a validated liquid intake 7-day record (Liq.In 7 ).

The data indicated that, while more children in Uruguay met the IOM’s recommended intakes, adolescents in Argentina (42%) met the recommendations than elsewhere. Again, the lowest adherence was observed in Mexico.

Guelinckx and her co-workers also found that children and adolescents in Argentina and Mexico drank more sugar sweetened beverages than water.

“This analysis is the first to investigate fluid intake patterns across countries and has shown that country of residence is an important determinant of cluster membership,” ​they wrote. “Therefore, it would be interesting to repeat the analysis within each country and extend the survey to other countries and regions of the world.

“Given the interest in establishing guidance and recommendations across regions, e.g., Latin American countries, or continents, e.g., Europe, once more data are available it would be interesting to repeat the analysis again within these regions.”

The scientists participating in the study were affiliated with Danone Research (France), the British Dietetic Association (UK), the University of Hertfordshire (UK), Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain), the Institute of Health Carlos III (Spain), the University of Arkansas (USA), Hospital Infantil de México Federico Gómez (México), and the Hospital Universitari de Sant Joan de Reus (Spain).

Source: European Journal of Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1007/s00394-018-1725-y
“Fluid intake of Latin American children and adolescents: results of four 2016 LIQ.IN 7 National Cross-Sectional Surveys”
Authors: J. Gandy, et al.

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