Sugar sweetened beverages
Irish teens have largest decline in sugary drinks
Ireland had the greatest decline in daily consumption of sugar sweetened beverages amongst the 21 countries reviewed in a recently published article. Researchers across Europe assessed trends in the daily consumption of sugary and diet soft drinks among European adolescents. High intake of sugar-sweetened beverages has been linked to childhood obesity and dental caries.
Data from the ‘Health Behaviour in School-aged Children’ survey years 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018 were analysed. All countries showed a decline in daily consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages between 2002 and 2018. The largest decline in consumption (1 or more sugary drink per day) was seen in Ireland, England and Norway. The number of adolescents consuming soft drinks everyday declined from 37.4% to 5.7% in Ireland. In 3 countries adolescents of higher socioeconomic status showed a greater decrease in consumption compared to those of lower socioeconomic status. In contrast, adolescents in lower socioeconomic class consumed sugary drinks more often in 11 of the 21 countries in 2018. Daily consumption of diet soft drinks decreased over time in the countries surveyed.
Overall, European adolescents' intake of sugar-sweetened beverages decreased between 2002 and 2018. Socioeconomic inequalities in the daily consumption of sugary soft drinks have increased between 2002 and 2018. Adolescents from lower socioeconomic groups tend to consume more sugar-sweetened beverages.