Reviewing consumption trends of sugar-sweetened beverages and their role in increasing obesity

Obesity rates continue to increase among children in the United States. Although the causes of the obesity epidemic are many, there is evidence from a wide array of sources that implicates sugar-sweetened beverages as a potential causal factor. This project will provide timely reviews of two sources of information related to sugar-sweetened beverages. First, the investigators will conduct a comprehensive review of the trends in sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in the U.S. They will examine trends by age, sex, socioeconomic status, and race/ethnicity. They also will systematically review published evidence regarding the role of sugar-sweetened beverages in contributing to the rising levels of childhood obesity. The second paper will include a review of state legislation, both proposed and enacted, as well as regulations that focus on access to sugar-sweetened beverages in schools, and a review of selective local-level policies. The purpose of the second paper is to provide an analysis of the aspects of legislation and regulations that could have an important impact on access to sugar-sweetened beverages in schools and the relative merits of pursuing change by regulatory vs. legislative approaches. The Foundation plans to contribute to a broader understanding of key issues through systematic reviews and syntheses. The goal is not only to deepen our own knowledge base, but also to support learning that can be shared nationally. We plan to combine the results of this project with other work addressing sugar-sweetened beverages to create a comprehensive overview. This specific project will be considered successful if the systematic reviews are conducted and two white papers are published and are useful in the development of school-level policies.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $74,755.00

Awarded on: 10/6/2005

Time frame: 11/1/2005 - 12/31/2006

Grant Number: 55631


Harvard University T. H. Chan School of Public Health

677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, 02115-6028


Steven L. Gortmaker
Project Director