Associations Between Intake of Sugar-Containing Beverages in Infancy With Liver Fat Accumulation at School Age

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Abstract

Background and Aims: Sugar-containing beverage intake is a major risk factor for obesity in both children and adults and appears to be associated with NAFLD in adults. The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between sugar-containing beverage intake in infancy and liver fat accumulation and NAFLD among school-aged children. Approach and Results: In a population-based prospective cohort study of 1,940 infants, we assessed sugar-containing beverage intake at 1 year with a validated Food Frequency Questionnaire. Liver fat fraction and NAFLD (liver fat fraction ≥5.0%) were assessed with MR. Higher sugar-containing beverage intake in infancy was not associated with higher liver fat accumulation at 10 years of age when assessed continuously (SD, 0.03; 95% CI, (Formula presented.) 0.02, 0.07, per one-serving/day increase of sugar-containing beverage intake) or categorically (P = 0.38). However, compared to infants with <1.0 serving/day, those with >2.0 servings/day had the highest odds of NAFLD at 10 years of age (OR, 3.02; 95% CI, 1.34, 6.83). These associations remained borderline significant after additional adjustment for sugar-containing beverage intake and body mass index at school age (P = 0.13). Stratified analyses showed stronger associations between sugar-containing beverage intake in infancy and NAFLD at 10 years of age among children of mothers with lower educational attainment (OR, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.12, 1.97) and among children with overweight or obesity (OR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.05, 2.07). Conclusions: Higher sugar-containing beverage intake in infancy was associated with NAFLD in school-aged children, independent of sugar-containing beverage intake and body mass index at school age. Limiting the intake of sugar-containing beverages in infancy may help prevent liver steatosis at school age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-570
Number of pages11
JournalHepatology
Volume73
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

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