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Sweetened drinks may cause weight gain

November 9, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Giving young children sweetened drinks can lead to increased body fat and weight gain in their teens.A Penn State University research team looked at what 166 girls drank between the ages of 5 and 15. They found higher sweetened beverage intake at age 5 was linked to more body fat during the following 10 years.

Sweetened drinks include sodas and fruit and sports drinks. Those who drank more milk, water and 100-percent fruit juice experienced less body fat and weight gain.

Higher body fat during the teen years has been linked to long-term weight and other health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.

The study is found in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Reuters contributed to this report.