The association of maternal sugary beverage consumption during pregnancy and the early years with childhood sugary beverage consumption Academic Article uri icon

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  • Objectives

    A woman's food choices during pregnancy may be associated with her offspring's food choices. Several studies support an association between childhood sugary beverage (SB) consumption and poor cardiometabolic health. This study aimed to assess the association of maternal SB consumption during pregnancy and later, with her offspring's SB consumption in early infancy and childhood.


    A total of 1945 women and 1595 children participating in 3 Canadian studies reported SB consumption during pregnancy, at 2 years of age, and/or at school age (5 to 8 years old). Mother and offspring SB intakes were self-reported by mothers. Multivariable linear regression analyses were conducted within each cohort and cohort data were combined using fixed effect meta-analyses.


    Maternal SB consumption during pregnancy was associated with higher offspring SB consumption at 2 years of age (standardized β = 0.19 predicted change in the number of standard deviations of offspring SB intake for an increase of 1 standard deviation in maternal serving [95% CI: 0.16 to 0.22]). Concurrent maternal SB consumption was associated with higher offspring SB intake when children were aged 5 to 8 years (standardized β= 0.25 [95% CI: 0.10 to 0.40]).


    Maternal SB consumption during pregnancy is associated with a marginally higher SB intake among their offspring at age 2, and concurrent maternal consumption is associated with a higher SB intake among school-aged offspring (5 to 8 years old). Future interventions tailored for pregnancy and early childrearing years to reduce SB intakes of mothers may reduce young children's SB intake.

publication date

  • September 29, 2022