Public Health Nutrition

Assessment and methodology

Available energy from soft drinks: more than the sum of its parts

Anwar T Merchanta1 c1, Avnish Tripathia1 and Farhan Pervaiza2

a1 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, 800 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29208, USA

a2 Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada


Objective To evaluate the relationship between energy available from sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) and total energy availability.

Design Ecological study using food availability data from 1976 to 2007 from the database of the Canadian Socio-Economic Information Management System. The average available total daily energy per capita (kJ (kcal)/d per capita) and percentage of energy from SSB (%E/d per capita) were calculated. A regression analysis was performed with average available total daily energy per capita (kJ (kcal)/d per capita) as the outcome and percentage of energy from SSB as the independent variable (%E/d per capita).

Setting Canada 1976–2007.

Subjects None.

Results Between 1976 and 2007, total available energy increased on average by 669 kJ (160 kcal)/d per capita, and energy from SSB by 155 kJ (37 kcal)/d per capita. Total available energy increased by 434 kJ (104 kcal)/d per capita for a one unit increase in average percentage of energy from SSB.

Conclusions Total available energy increased as the contribution of energy available from SSB increased. This increase was larger than that explained by energy availability from SSB alone. Reducing energy from soft drinks may contribute to larger reductions in total energy available for consumption.

(Received September 11 2009)

(Accepted March 24 2010)

(Online publication May 06 2010)


c1 Corresponding author: Email