- CACFP —
- Child and Adult Care Food Program
- SSB —
- sugar-sweetened beverage
A strong evidence base links sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intake to obesity in older children and adults.1–8 In this issue of Pediatrics, DeBoer et al add to the evidence using data from a nationally representative US cohort study to show a relationship between SSB intake and obesity among preschool-age children.9 The authors conclude that “strong consideration should be made toward policy changes leading to decreases in SSB consumption among children.”9 The questions we are now hoping to answer are the following: what policy solutions can curb SSB consumption among our youngest children? Equally important, how can these policies be meaningfully implemented in real-world settings?
DeBoer et al’s study draws attention to a population of preschool-aged children who are often neglected by current SSB policies. Instituting soda taxes and limiting SSB serving sizes in restaurants have been proposed and attempted.10 Healthy beverage policies have been instituted in workplaces,11,12 and >80% of US school districts have policies prohibiting or restricting student access to SSBs.13 However, policies targeting preschool-aged children remain largely absent.
There are clear federal policymaking opportunities to reduce SSB consumption among young children. The Child and Adult Food …
Address correspondence to Anisha I. Patel, MD, MSPH, MSHS, Department of Pediatrics, and Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California at San Francisco, 3333 California St, Suite 245, Mailbox 0503, San Francisco, CA 94118. E-mail: