Background : The prevalence of convenience and beverage stores in Taiwan provides an environment for children to access different beverages. To our knowledge, the relationship between beverage consumption types and anthropometrics in children hasn't been reported in Taiwan. Methods : A cross-sectional study was conducted in the third graders to examine the association between the consumption frequency of beverage type and anthropometrics. Parents of 515 children completed a questionnaire with written instructions, which was designed to collect demographics, frequency of consumed beverage types, and anthropometrics. This study is novel because beverage types were categorized based on sugar and protein contents, namely nutritious (N), sugar (S), nutritious and sugar (NS), and non-nutritious and sugar-free (NS-free). The differences in height and body weight between intake frequencies within each beverage type were determined using analysis of variance (ANOVA) test or nonparametric statistics, dependent on the confirmation of normal data distribution. Results : Height and weight of children consuming the most N beverages fell in the highest respective percentile compared to those who did not consume them (P = 0.001 and 0.035, respectively). Consumption of NS and S beverages were not associated with height, body weight, and BMI. Children who consumed more NS-free beverages were significantly heavier (p = 0.016) and had a larger BMI (p = 0.001). Conclusion : This is the first study conducted on third-grade children in Taiwan showing the beverage consumption type was associated with anthropometrics. In conclusion, nutritious beverages appear to be a better choice for growth in children. Nevertheless, additional related studies, including an overall assessment of children's calorie and nutrient intakes and related dietary behaviors, are warranted to provide more helpful information for policymakers.
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