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2017 Conference

Abstract Number: 54 | ID: 2017-54

Beverage Consumption Trends in Australian Children: 2004-2014

Nicole Stormon(School of Dentistry, the University of Queensland, Australia,, Ratilal Lalloo(School of Dentistry, the University of Queensland, Australia), Lisa Schubert(School of Public Health, the University of Queensland, Australia), Pauline Ford(School of Dentistry, the University of Queensland, Australia)
Background/Aim: Beverages are an important source of water and some essential nutrients, but the consumption of sweet beverages has been linked to adverse health outcomes. Beverage sales data is available in Australia but longitudinal data is lacking, making it difficult to understand changes in beverage consumption over time. This study aimed to investigate consumption trends of sweet and unflavoured beverages in a cohort of Australian children.
Methods: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) has run biennially since 2004. 24 hour recall data collected over 6 waves from the birth cohort (aged 0-12 months at baseline) was analysed and demographics were assessed for associations.
Results: 5,107 children participated at baseline. Proportions of fruit juice consumers overall decreased with increasing age, but increased significantly from 38.1% (0-1y) to 60.5% (2y). Soft drink and cordial consumer proportions increased from 1.3% (0-1y), to 27.8% (2y) and 43.0% (10y). The majority of the participants did not consume diet soft drinks, until 10-11y when proportions increased from 6.5% to 23.5%. Consumption of full cream milk decreased from 82.7% (2y) to 74.7% (10y). Proportions of skim milk consumption increased by 50.7% between ages 2 and 10y. Higher consumption of soft drink and cordial was significantly associated with older children, males, children with a medical condition, living in a rural area, living in a low socio-economic index area and Indigenous Australians.
Conclusions: Fruit juice was introduced into the diet in early infancy. While proportions of fruit juice consumers decreased after the age of 2y, proportions of soft drink consumers increased. Full cream milk appeared to be largely replaced by the consumption of skim milk by the time the cohort was aged 10y. The findings from this study should inform policy and interventions aimed at reducing consumption of sweet beverages and the associated burden of disease.