Maternal consumption of artificially sweetened beverages during pregnancy, and offspring growth through 7 years of age: a prospective cohort study

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Yeyi Zhu
  • Sjurdur F Olsen
  • Pauline Mendola
  • Thorhallur I Halldorsson
  • Shristi Rawal
  • Stefanie N Hinkle
  • Edwina H Yeung
  • Jorge E Chavarro
  • Louise G Grunnet
  • Charlotta Granström
  • Anne A Bjerregaard
  • Frank B Hu
  • Cuilin Zhang

Background: Artificial sweeteners are widely replacing caloric sweeteners. Data on long-term impact of artificially sweetened beverage (ASB) consumption during pregnancy on offspring obesity risk are lacking. We prospectively investigated intake of ASBs and sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) during pregnancy in relation to offspring growth through age 7 years among high-risk children born to women with gestational diabetes.

Methods: In a prospective study of 918 mother-singleton child dyads from the Danish National Birth Cohort, maternal dietary intake was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire during pregnancy. Offspring body mass index z-scores (BMIZ) and overweight/obesity status were derived using weight and length/height at birth, 5 and 12 months and 7 years. Linear regression and Poisson regression with robust standard errors were used, adjusting for major risk factors.

Results: Approximately half of women reported consuming ASBs during pregnancy and 9% consumed daily. Compared to never consumption, daily ASB intake during pregnancy was positively associated with offspring large-for-gestational age [adjusted relative risk (aRR) 1.57; 95% CI: 1.05, 2.35 at birth], BMIZ (adjusted β 0.59; 95% CI: 0.23, 0.96) and overweight/obesity (aRR 1.93; 95% CI; 1.24, 3.01) at 7 years. Per-serving-per-day substitution of ASBs with water during pregnancy was related to a lower overweight/obesity risk at 7 years (aRR 0.83; 95% CI: 0.76, 0.91), whereas SSB substitution with ASBs was not related to a lower risk (aRR 1.14; 95% CI: 1.00, 1.31).

Conclusions: Our findings illustrated positive associations between intrauterine exposure to ASBs and birth size and risk of overweight/obesity at 7 years. Data with longer follow-up are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1499-1508
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Adult, Beverages/adverse effects, Body Mass Index, Body Weight, Child, Denmark/epidemiology, Dietary Sucrose/adverse effects, Female, Humans, Linear Models, Male, Multivariate Analysis, Overweight/epidemiology, Pediatric Obesity/epidemiology, Pregnancy, Prenatal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors, Sweetening Agents/adverse effects

ID: 210976055