Research to date has been inconclusive on whether drinking sugar-sweetened beverages between meals increases children?s risk of becoming overweight.
Researchers at the University of Ottawa Institute of Population Health say sugar-sweetened drinks can have a negative effect on pre-school children.
The researchers studied the frequency of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption between meals of more than 1,900 children living in Quebec, Canada.
The researchers found nearly 7 percent of children who didn?t drink sugar-sweetened beverages between meals between the ages of 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 were overweight at 4 1/2 years old compared to 15.4 percent of children who did drink them four to six times or more per week.
?Parents should be encouraged to limit the quantity of beverages high in energy and sugar because of their propensity to increase weight,? the researchers conclude.