Age, race and gender influence kids and teens beverage choices

ALEXANDRIA, VA. . . . June 16, 2003. A new study of federal nutrition data by researchers at Virginia Tech's Center for Food and Nutrition Policy, points out that age, race and gender are strongly associated with the types and amounts of beverage choices made by children and adolescents, but there is no link between soda consumption and obesity. The peer-reviewed study appears in the current issue of the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition (54:4 pp 297-307). It is based on an analysis of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals 1994-96, 98.

Concerns about African-American adolescent girls who drink little milk
Acting Director and Research Associate Professor, Maureen L. Storey, Ph.D. and Richard A. Forshee, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, said, "Our study shows how strongly associated age, race, and gender are with what beverages our children consume. Overall, white children and adolescents drink more beverages than their African-American counterparts. The reasons for this are unknown and should be explored further, especially with regard to proper hydration for everyday activity and during strenuous physical activity.

"Beverage choices were notably different depending on race/ethnicity. While young boys and girls of all ethnicities drink more milk than any other beverage, African-American children drink less milk than white or Hispanic children do. Young white boys and girls consume about 1.4 and 1.2 servings of milk per day, whereas young African-American boys and girls drink 1.0 and 0.8 servings per day, respectively. Young Hispanic girls might be considered the most avid milk consumers with few of them eschewing milk entirely--7.4 percent reported drinking no milk. On the other hand, 13-14 percent of young African-American children report drinking no milk.

"It was surprising that African-American adolescent girls drank so few beverages as a whole a

Contact: Jeff Nedelman
Strategic Communications

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