New Data: Many California Kids Drink Sugary Beverages Daily, Eat Fast Food Weekly
More than four in 10 California children report that they drank one or more sugary drinks daily in 2011-2012, and nearly that many ate fast food two or more times in a week, according to data newly published on kidsdata.org.
Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with health problems such as overweight and obesity, dental decay, and type 2 diabetes.
While more than half of California children ages 2-11 reportedly ate five or more fruits and vegetables daily – a federal health goal – during 2011-1012, only about a quarter of children ages 12-17 did.
The nutrition data are drawn from surveys conducted with parents and adolescents by the California Health Interview Survey.
See nutrition data by county>>
Children's reported diets varied widely by age, race/ethnicity and region. Percentages of children drinking one or more sugary drinks daily ranged from about 20% in some counties to as high as 60% in others.
In 2011-2012, about 65% of adolescents ages 12-17 reportedly drank one or more sugary drinks every day, including sodas and sports drinks, compared to 32% of children ages 6-11 and 19% of children ages 2-5. Reports of daily sugary drink consumption among teens increased significantly from the previous survey period of 2005-2007, but decreased for children ages 6-11 and 2-5, according to an analysis by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and California Center for Public Health Advocacy.
Among racial/ethnic groups, almost three quarters of African American and Latino teens reported daily consumption of sugary beverages in 2011-12, compared to 63% for Asian and multiracial youth and 56% for white teens.
More than half (53%) of children ages 2-11 ate five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily, up from 48% in 2009. While the figure for youth ages 12-17 was substantially lower, at 26%, it also increased from 20% in 2009. About a third (37%) of children and teens ages 2-17 ate fast food two or more times in the past week, similar to previous years.
Read more about child nutrition in California, including policy implications>>
See California Child/Youth Nutrition Data
Action for Healthy Kids
California Food Policy Advocates
Child Trends: Food Insecurity
Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)
Nutrition in Children and Adolescents Resource Guide, Maternal and Child Health Library at Georgetown University
Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
School Breakfast Program, U.S. Department of Agriculture
The Strategic Alliance for Healthy Food and Activity Environments, Prevention Institute
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Children Ages 2-17 Drinking One or More Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Per Day (2011-2012)