Washington, Nov 10 : Looking at the rise of childhood obesity, school administrators and public health officials are eliminating sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) from schools diets. But now, a new study has found that doing so has little effect on total consumption by adolescents.
Working with four schools in Maine that reduced SSB availability for one school year (intervention schools) and three other schools that took no actions (control schools), the researchers followed 456 students from 6 counties in southern and central Maine over two school years.
Consumption of SSB decreased in all students, regardless of whether they attended an intervention or control school.
"This study suggests that successful reduction of the availability of SSB can occur in public high schools. However, these data suggest the effect of reduced availability of school SSB on consumption of SSB by high school students may be limited," Janet E. Whatley Blum said.
"A better understanding of beverage consumption patterns may be needed to determine the efficacy of school food policies on those youth susceptible to obesity," she added.
The study is published in the November/December 2008 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.