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Baby Medical Q&A, Issue #087 Soda is not Good for your Toddler
January 01, 2014

Welcome to another edition of Baby Medical Q&A News.

And Happy New Year.

Wishing you a prosperous 2014 filled with joy and peace. May all your dreams come true

Beware: Soda is not good for your toddler

This month I want to restate my concerns about soda consumption in toddlers and the effects regular soda drinking can have and it's not just weight issues.

I am going to reference 2 articles in mainstream pediatric journals from 2013, both looking at soda or sugared beverage consumption in preschool children. The results are very interesting and will make you think twice before letting your child drink regular soda (aka soft drinks, sugared beverages).

Soda and Behavior Problems

The first article appeared in the Journal of Pediatrics. It looked at nearly 3000 children aged 5 years and obtained information on soda consumption and current behavior problems.

43% of the children drank at least one soda per day. 4% drank 4 or more sodas a day! The study found that those children who drank sodas were more likely to have behavior problems, namely aggression (such as destroying things belonging to others, getting into fights and physically attacking people). The more soda that was drunk, the more likely the child was to have aggressive behavior tendencies. The nature of the study was such that detailed analysis as to why this happened was not possible. However, it is a worrying trend, I think.

Soda and Weight

The other article appeared in Pediatrics, which is the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. This examined the association of consumption of sugar sweetened drinks (like soda) and weight. This was a study of 9600 children who had been followed up since birth. They looked at weight at 5 years in relation to soda drinking between ages 2 and 5 years. Children who drank more soda (and other sugar sweetened drinks) in the toddler and preschool years had higher BMI scores (body mass index scores) and were more likely to be obese.

So, soda is not good for weight. That's not a surprise but many parents believe that weight issues and obesity don't start early. That is not correct. You can help your toddler and preschooler by just limiting soda drinking to occasional (eg. as a treat) or not at all.

So, give your child a great new year present. Remove soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks (including juice with added sugar) from the diet. They will thank you one day.


  • Shakira F. Suglia, ScD1, Sara Solnick, PhD2, and David Hemenway, PhD. Soft Drinks Consumption Is Associated with Behavior Problems in 5-Year-Olds.(J Pediatr 2013;163:1323-8)
  • Mark D. DeBoer, Rebecca J. Scharf and Ryan T. Demmer. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Weight Gain in 2- to 5-Year-Old Children. Pediatrics 2013;132;413

Please feel free to share this ezine with family and friends.

Till next time,

Dr Maud

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