Sugar sweetened beverage consumption during pregnancy is associated with lower diet quality and greater total energy intake

Ryan J. Gamba*, Cindy W. Leung, Lucia Petito, Barbara Abrams, Barbara A. Laraia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective Identify the socio-economic correlates of sugar sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption among pregnant women and analyze to what extent SSB consumption is associated with diet quality and total energy intake. Additionally, we aim to predict how diet quality scores and totally energy intakes would change if SSB consumption was artificially set to 0. Design Repeated Cross Sectional Study. Setting United States. Subjects SSB consumption was estimated from 1–2 24-hour dietary recalls from 1,154 pregnant women who participated in the 1999–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Methods Linear regression models were used to identify socioeconomic and demographic factors associated with SSB consumption and to assess the associations between SSB consumption and diet quality and total energy intake. Diet quality was measured with the Alternate Healthy Eating Index modified for Pregnancy (AHEI-P). Results The mean SSB intake was 1.3 servings per day (sd 1.5). Having a household income 100% of the Federal Poverty Level, being born in the United States, and not being married or living with a partner were positively associated with SSB consumption. Every 12 oz. of SSBs consumed was associated with a 2.3 lower AHEI-P score (95% CI: 1.6, 2.9) and the consumption of 124 more calories (95% CI: 85, 163), after adjusting for age, country of birth, race/ethnicity, educational attainment, marital status, household income, survey year and day/s of the week the recall/s were collected. Our predictive models indicated that average AHEI-P would be 6.4 (5.4, 7.6) higher and average total energy intakes would be 203.5 calories (122.2, 284.8) lower if SSB intake was set to 0. Conclusions SSB consumption is associated with poorer diet quality and higher total energy intake among pregnant women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0215686
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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