Public Health Nutrition

Monitoring and surveillance

Beverage intake patterns of Canadian children and adolescents

Adrienne D Danyliwa1, Hassanali Vatanparasta1, Nooshin Nikpartowa1 and Susan J Whitinga1 c1

a1 Division of Nutrition and Dietetics, College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan, 110 Science Place, Thorvaldson Building, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5C9, Canada


Objective Little is known of the beverage intake patterns of Canadian children or of characteristics within these patterns. The objective was to determine beverage intake patterns among Canadian children and compare intakes of fourteen types of beverages, along with intakes of vitamin C and Ca, and sociodemographic factors across clusters.

Design Dietary information was collected using one 24 h recall. Sociodemographic data were collected by interview. Cluster analysis was used to determine beverage intake patterns. Pearson's χ2 and 95 % CI were used to test differences across clusters.

Setting Data from the Canadian Community Health Survey Cycle 2·2.

Subjects Children aged 2–18 years with plausible energy intake and complete sociodemographic data (n 10 038) were grouped into the following categories: 2–5-year-old boys and girls, 6–11-year-old girls, 6–11-year-old boys, 12–18-year-old girls and 12–18-year-old boys.

Results Five beverage clusters emerged for children aged 2–5 years, six clusters for children aged 6–11 years (both sexes) and four clusters for those aged 12–18 years (both sexes). Sweetened beverage clusters appeared in all age–sex groups. Intakes of sweetened beverages ranged from 553 to 1059 g/d and contributed between 2 % and 18 % of total energy intake. Girls 6–11 years of age in the ‘soft drink’ cluster had lower Ca intake compared with other clusters in that age–sex group. Age and ethnicity differed across clusters for most age–sex groups. Differences for household food security status and income were found; however, no pattern emerged.

Conclusions Patterns in beverage intake among Canadian children include beverages that are predominantly sugar sweetened. Public health nutrition professionals can use knowledge about beverage patterns among children, as well as the characteristics of these groups, in the development of nutritional programmes and policies.

(Received December 01 2010)

(Accepted April 01 2011)

(Online publication June 23 2011)


c1 Corresponding author: Email