Deakin University

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Polygenic Risk Scores and the Risk of Childhood Overweight/Obesity in Association With the Consumption of Sweetened Beverages: A Population-Based Cohort Study

journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-16, 04:39 authored by Lachlan Sycamnias, Jessica A Kerr, Katherine Lange, Richard Saffery, Yichao WangYichao Wang, Melissa Wake, Tim Olds, Terry Dwyer, David Burgner, Anneke C Grobler
Background: Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) and non-nutritive sweetened beverage (NNSB) consumption is associated with obesity and are targets for population-level dietary interventions. In children (<16 years), we evaluate whether SSB or NNSB consumption is associated with subsequent (2 years later) overweight and/or obesity, and the effect of consumption on subsequent overweight/obesity differs by BMI polygenic risk score (BMI-PRS). Methods: The nationally representative Longitudinal-Study-of-Australian-Children had biennial data collection from birth (n = 5107) until age 14/15 years (n = 3127). At age 11/12 years, a comprehensive biomedical assessment, including PRS assessment, was undertaken (n = 1422). Parent- or self-reported beverage consumption (SSBs: soft drinks, energy drinks, and/or juice; NNSBs: diet drinks) was measured as any/none over previous 24 hours. BMI-PRS was derived using published results (high PRS ≥75th percentile). At ages 4/5-14/15 children were classified as having obesity, overweight/obesity, or not having overweight/obesity using BMI z-score (CDC cut points). Results: SSB consumption had limited association with subsequent overweight/obesity. NNSB consumption was associated with ∼8% more children with subsequent overweight/obesity at most ages. In older children with high BMI-PRS, associations between NNSB consumption and subsequent overweight/obesity strengthened with age [at age 14-15 for high BMI-PRS, difference in proportion with overweight/obesity among NNSB consumers vs. nonconsumers = 0.38 (95% confidence interval: 0.22 to 0.55, p ≤ 0.001)]. There was limited association between SSB consumption and BMI-PRS. Conclusion: NNSB consumption was associated with increased risk of overweight/obesity for children with greater genetic risk at older ages (12-15 years). Focused intervention among children with high genetic risk could target NNSB consumption; however, reverse causality (children with genetic risk and/or high BMI consume more NNSBs) cannot be excluded.



Childhood Obesity




United States








Mary Ann Liebert Inc