Original Article | Published:

Carbohydrates, glycemic index and diabetes mellitus

Associations of sugar-containing beverages with asthma prevalence in 11-year-old children: the PIAMA birth cohort

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition volume 69, pages 303308 (2015) | Download Citation

Abstract

Background/objectives:

Recently, a few studies have linked soft drink consumption to increased asthma risk, but the contribution of different types of soft drinks is unknown. We investigated cross-sectional associations between six different types of soft drinks and asthma in 11-year-old children.

Subjects/methods:

We analyzed data of 2406 children participating in the Dutch Prevention and Incidence of Asthma and Mite Allergy birth cohort. At age 11, children self-reported consumption of sugar-added drinks, diet drinks, sweetened milk drinks, 100% fruit juice, energy drinks and sport drinks. The definition of asthma was based on parental reports of wheezing, prescription of inhaled corticosteroids and doctor’s diagnosis of asthma.

Results:

The prevalence of asthma in this study was 5.8%. In adjusted logistic regression analyses, asthma risk was increased for high (10 glasses/week (gl/wk) versus low (<4 gl/wk) consumption of 100% fruit juice (odds ratio (OR): 2.09, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.21–3.60), sugar-added drinks (OR: 1.56, 95%CI: 0.95–2.56) and for very high (>21.5 gl/wk) versus low (<12.5 gl/wk) total sugar-containing beverage (SCB) consumption (OR: 1.91, 95%CI: 1.04–3.48). Consumption of other beverages and consumption of fruit were not associated with increased asthma risk. No evidence for mediation of the observed associations by body mass index was found.

Conclusions:

This study indicates that high consumption of 100% fruit juice and total SCBs is associated with increased asthma risk in children. The positive association between consumption of 100% fruit juice and asthma is an unexpected finding that needs confirmation in future studies.

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Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of all participating children and parents or caregivers of the Prevention and Incidence of Asthma and Mite Allergy (PIAMA) study. We thank Ada Wolse, Marjan Tewis and Marieke Oldenwening for their contribution to the data collection and data management. The PIAMA study was funded by grants from the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development; the Netherlands Asthma Foundation; the Netherlands Ministry of Planning, Housing and the Environment; The Netherlands Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport; and the Institute for Public Health and the Environment. Professor Dr GHK has received grants from the Dutch Lung Foundation, Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure and Stichting Astma Bestrijding. These organizations and study sponsors were not involved in the design or conduct of the current study.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Center for Nutrition, Prevention, and Health Services, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, The Netherlands

    • N E Berentzen
    • , V L van Stokkom
    •  & A H Wijga
  2. Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands

    • N E Berentzen
    •  & H A Smit
  3. Division of Environmental Epidemiology, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

    • U Gehring
  4. Department of Pediatric Pulmonology and Pediatric Allergology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Beatrix Children’s Hospital, GRIAC Research Institute, Groningen, The Netherlands

    • G H Koppelman
  5. Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    • L A Schaap

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Competing interests

GHK has received grants from the Dutch Lung Foundation, Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure and Stichting Astma Bestrijding. These organizations or study sponsors were not involved in the design or conduct of the current study. The remaining authors declare no conflict of interest.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to N E Berentzen.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2014.153

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