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Soft drinks not linked to decreased calcium intake

Alexandria, Va.--A new study by researchers at the Center for Food and Nutrition Policy (CFNP) at Virginia Tech published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that calcium intake among U.S. adolescents although inadequate, has remained a constant since the 1970s and does not appear to be linked to soft drink consumption.

The study, conducted by Maureen Storey, PhD, Richard Forshee, PhD and Patricia Anderson, MPP, assessed diet and beverage choices of boys and girls in four age groups: two to three year olds, four to eight year olds, nine to 13 year olds, and 14 to 18 year olds. The data used in the study were from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals from (CSFII) 1994-96 and 1998.

According to Maureen Storey, PhD, director of CFNP and lead author of the study, the data continue to show that soft drink consumption by teens is actually far less than is perceived. The study found that adolescent girls (14 to 18 years of age) on average drink about one 12-ounce can of soda a day, and pre-adolescent girls (nine to 13 years of age) drink about three-fourths of a 12-ounce can each day. Consumption of diet carbonated soft drinks is low even among teen girls, who consume an average of only 59 grams, or less than two-tenths of a 12-ounce can, per day.

"Many people have the mistaken impression that adolescent girls are drinking inordinate amounts of soft drinks," Storey said. "However, it is wrong to suggest that girls are consuming gallons of soda pop when the amount they are drinking, about one can a day, is not excessive if they are physically active."

According to the study, Caucasian teenage boys (14 to 18 years old) come closest to meeting the recommended adequate intake (AI) for calcium for their age group, getting about 95 percent of AI. However, this group is the most avid consumer of carbonated soft drinks, drinking nearly two 12-ounce ca
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Contact: Charlie Stott
540-231-6676
Virginia Tech
24-Mar-2004


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