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Soft Drinks: A Habit at Age 5 Predicts Weight Gain colas Parents, if you've think there's nothing wrong with giving your toddlers and young ones a couple of cans of soda and other sweetened beverages a day, you better reconsider.

That's because if five-year-olds drink sweetened beverages, they're more likely to pack on pounds in their teens, according to a new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Specifically, researchers from the Center for Childhood Obesity Research at Pennsylvania State University and other institutions found that girls, who, at age five, consumed two or more eight-ounce servings of sweetened beverages such as soft drinks were more likely to have a higher intake and be overweight in the next decade than girls, who drank less during the 10-year period.

Consumption remained stable for those who drank one to two servings a day, the researchers found.

Drinking milk or fruit juice wasn't connected with weight gain, as Food Navigator pointed out.

The researchers pointed out that although the American Academy of Pediatrics has made fruit juice consumption recommendations, the organization hasn't made any regarding sweetened beverage intake.

It's fascinating to me that researchers seem to shy away from the words "soft drinks" and instead use the phrase "sweetened beverages." Of course, you can find numerous other sweetened drinks, too, such as energy drinks, lemonade, fruit punch, etc.

But, let's face it, it doesn't matter what you call them. The message here is that children should stay away from sugary drinks, especially two or more eight-ounce portions.

Of course, we already knew that, but it's always helpful when researchers arrive at conclusions that back up theories.

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