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State of Alaska

Health Indicator Report of Sugary Drinks - Adolescents (students in grades 9-12 in traditional high schools)

There is strong evidence that consuming sugary drinks is linked to obesity,^1^ type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and tooth decay.^3-6^ The American Heart Association has issued scientific statements describing the risk of added sugars and cardiovascular disease risk in adults and in children.^7,8^ In rural Alaska Native children, the severity of dental caries in primary and permanent teeth has been shown to increase with each reported soda consumed.^9^ Sugary drinks are the number one source of added sugar in American diets. Added sugars contribute an average of 16% of the total calories in American diets; 46% of those calories come from sugary drinks.^10^ Sugary drinks provide empty calories; they are high in calories but low in nutrients. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that less than 10% of calories come from added sugar. These recommendations aim to promote health, prevent chronic disease, and help people reach and maintain a healthy weight.^10^ That 10% equates to less than 200 calories, 50 grams, or 12.5 teaspoons of added sugar for the reference diet of 2,000 calories. One regular 12 ounce can of soda contains 140 calories (or 40 grams or 10 teaspoons) of added sugar. This means that even one sugary drink a day puts most people near their limit of added sugar for the day, increasing their risk of certain diseases. Nationally, the U.S. mean adjusted intake of added sugars remains high. In 2011-2012, children and adults consumed 326 calories/day and 308 calories/day, respectively, of added sugars, or 14% and 17%, respectively, of total their energy. For both children and adults, there was a considerable increase in calories from added sugars from 1977 to 2003, followed by a substantial decline from 2003 to 2012. Nationally, there was no decline in the percentage of total energy intake from added sugars from 2003 to 2012.^11^

Notes

When the term sugary drinks is used, it corresponds with the derived score from the two questions in 2009, 2011 and 2013 or the derived score from the three questions in 2015. Alaska Native adolescent refers to any mention of American Indian or Alaska Native when enumerating racial or ethnic background. Individuals of multiple races incorporating American Indian or Alaska Native are moved into the Alaska Native group. When race and ethnicity are considered concurrently, Hispanic individuals with American Indian or Alaska Native heritage are combined into the Alaska Native (any mention) group and removed from the Hispanic group.

Data Source

[http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Chronic/Pages/yrbs/yrbs.aspx Alaska Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System], Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, Section of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Data Interpretation Issues

The number of and wording of the sugary drinks questions has changed over time. When the term sugary drinks is used, it corresponds with the derived score from the two questions in 2009, 2011, and 2013, or the derived score from the three questions in 2015. During 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015, the soda/pop question was: During the past 7 days, how many times did you drink a can, bottle, or glass of soda or pop, such as Coke, Pepsi, or Sprite? (Do not include diet soda or diet pop.) During 2009, 2011, and 2013, the State of Alaska added one question about sugary drinks other than soda/pop: During the past 7 days, how many times did you drink a can, bottle, or glass of a sugar sweetened drink, such as sports drinks, sweetened energy drinks, Snapple, fruit punch, Kool-Aid, Tang, or Capri-Sun? (Do not include soda or pop, diet drinks or 100% juice) In 2015, the CDC issued a question specifically about sports drinks. The state of Alaska adopted the CDC sports drink question to allow comparison nationally. The CDC question is: During the past 7 days, how many times did you drink a can, bottle, or glass of a sports drink, such as Gatorade or PowerAde? (Do not count low-calorie sports drinks such as Propel or G2)? Since the CDC questions only capture soda/pop and sports drinks, the State of Alaska added a question to capture sugary drinks other than soda/pop and sports drinks and fielded the following question in 2015: During the past 7 days, how many times did you drink a can, bottle, or glass of a sugar sweetened drink, such as sweetened energy drinks, Snapple, fruit punch, Kool-Aid, Tang, or Capri-Sun? (Do not include soda or pop, sports drinks, diet drinks or 100% juice) Responses for all questions in all years were: (a) I did not drink this/these drinks during the past 7 days; (b) 1 to 3 times during the past 7 days; (c) 4 to 6 times during the past 7 days; (d) 1 time per day; (e) 2 times per day; (f) 3 times per day; or (g) 4 or more times per day.

Definition

Percentage of adolescents (grades 9-12) responding 1 or more sugary drinks per day on the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS).

Numerator

Weighted number of adolescents (grades 9-12) responding 1 or more sugary drinks per day on the YRBS.

Denominator

Weighted number of adolescents (grades 9-12) providing complete and valid responses to the YRBS questions on sugary drinks, excluding those with missing, "Don't know/Not sure," and "Refused" responses to either question.

How Are We Doing?

In Alaska, sugary drink intake is used as a proxy measure to track added sugar consumption since it accounts for 47% of added sugar in the American diet.^10^ For good health, even one sugary drink a day is too much, but in 2015, almost half (46.4%) of Alaska adolescents drank one or more sugary drinks each day, with boys significantly more likely than girls and Alaska Native adolescents significantly more likely than non-Native adolescents to drink one sugary drink every day. Those living in the Northern and Southwest public health regions were more likely to drink a sugary drink every day than those in other regions. These were no significant differences in sugary drink consumption (one or more daily) between adolescents who were overweight or obese compared to those with a healthy weight. In Alaska, adolescents were more likely to drink one or more sugary drinks per day if they were a current smoker, smokeless tobacco user, binge drinker, or marijuana user than those adolescents not engaging in those risk behaviors.

What Is Being Done?

Alaska's Play Every Day public education campaign has resources and materials to help families make personal decisions about their family's sugary drink intake. See [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/PlayEveryDay/Pages/default.aspx Play Every Day]. Alaska's Healthy Drinks for Healthy Kids project provides resources to dental professionals to help their patients reduce sugary drink intake. See http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Chronic/Pages/Obesity/sugarydrinks and http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Chronic/Pages/Obesity/sugarydrinks/healthydrinks.
Page Content Updated On 06/07/2017, Published on 06/07/2017
The information provided above is from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services' Center for Health Data and Statistics, Alaska Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health (Ak-IBIS) web site (http://ibis.dhss.alaska.gov). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sun, 24 September 2017 from Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Center for Health Data and Statistics, Alaska Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health web site: http://ibis.dhss.alaska.gov ".

Content updated: Wed, 7 Jun 2017 09:05:06 AKDT
The information provided above is from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services' Center for Health Data and Statistics AK-IBIS web site (http://ibis.dhss.alaska.gov/). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sun, 24 September 2017 2:12:00 from Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Center for Health Data and Statistics, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: http://ibis.dhss.alaska.gov/ ".

Content updated: Wed, 7 Jun 2017 09:05:06 AKDT