Sugar-sweetened beverages intake is associated with blood pressure and sympathetic nervous system activation in children.
Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2018 Dec ;28:232-235. Epub 2018 Sep 11. PMID: 30390887
Esther C de Boer
INTRODUCTION: Research in adults shows high intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) increases blood pressure (BP), however evidence in children is scarce and inconclusive. No studies have investigated autonomic nervous system (ANS) activation due to SSBs in children. Our aim was to investigate the associations between SSBs intake, BP and ANS activation in children.
METHODS: Cross-sectional data collected in 2008-2010 at age 5/6 (n = 2519) and in 2015-2016 at age 11/12 (n = 769) years in the Amsterdam Born Children and their Development-study were analyzed in 2017. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), as well as pre-ejection period (PEP; sympathetic activation) and respiratorysinus arrhythmia (RSA; parasympathetic activation) were measured during supine position. SSBs intake was self-reported.
RESULTS: After adjustments for covariates, including weight status, no associations between SSBs intake, BP and ANS measures were found at age 5/6. At age 11/12, one serving/day increase in SSBs was associated with 0.8 mmHg increase in SBP (95%CI:0.4; 1.2), 0.3 mmHg increase in DBP (0.0; 0.5) and 0.9 msec decrease in PEP (-1.5;-0.2). Children in the highest SSBs tertile had an increase of 2.3 mmHg in SBP (0.7; 4.0) and a decrease of 3.6 msec in PEP (-6.7;-0.6) compared to children in the lowest tertile.
CONCLUSION: In children aged 11/12, high intake of SSBs was associated with increased BP, which might be due to increased sympathetic nervous system activation. Importantly, these associations were independent of weight status.