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Sugar-sweetened beverages and their relationship to obesity in South Asian children

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.Sc.
Date created
The prevalence of obesity among South Asian (SA) children is increasing in comparison to their ethnic counterparts. This is of great concern given that SA adults have a greater predisposition to cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes. This increase in obesity may be further exacerbated by the adoption of ‘Westernized’ lifestyle behaviours such as dietary changes. Over the past fifty years, consumption of sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) has dramatically increased to high levels which have led SSBs to become highly scrutinized as a major contributor to the rise in childhood obesity. Evidence suggests the consumption of SSBs is associated with a rise in body mass index (BMI) in young children and adolescents. It is unknown whether this effect is exacerbated in specific populations at high risk of obesity, such as SA children. For this investigation a total of 363 SA children enrolled in grades 2 and 3 were randomly recruited from communities in Vancouver, British Columbia and Hamilton, Ontario. Children were evaluated using the RICH LEGACY Questionnaire that included a comprehensive assessment of the child’s lifestyle and physical measures. Independent multiple linear regression models adjusted for age and sex displayed an association between consumption of SSBs with z-BMI (p=0.02) but not with waist circumference (WC) (p=0.35) and waist to height ratio (W:Ht) (p=0.86). Diet beverages were not associated to z-BMI, WC or W:Ht (p=0.43, 0.46, 0.43, respectively). This new evidence is key in shaping future public health policies and interventions aimed at reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity.
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The author granted permission for the file to be printed and for the text to be copied and pasted.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Lear, Scott
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etd8645_JParmar.pdf 3.75 MB

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