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1.  Consumption of Added Sugars and Cardiometabolic Risk Indicators Among US Adolescents 
Circulation  2011;123(3):249-257.
Increased carbohydrate and sugar consumption has been associated with dyslipidemia among adults. However, the effect of high consumption of added sugars (caloric sweeteners) on measures of cardiometabolic risk among US adolescents is unknown.
Methods and Results
This was a cross-sectional study of 2,252 US adolescents (13–18 y) in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999–2004. Dietary data from one 24-hour recall were merged with added sugar content data from the USDA MyPyramid Equivalents Databases. Multivariate-adjusted means of cardiometabolic indicators were estimated by added sugar consumption level (<10%, 10– <15%, 15– <20%, 20– <25%, 25– <30%, and ≥30% total energy) and weighted to be representative of US adolescents. Mean consumption of added sugars was 21.4% of daily energy intake. Adjusted mean high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) levels were lower, 1.38 mmol/L (95% CI: 1.32, 1.43) among the lowest consumers to 1.28 mmol/L (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.23, 1.33) among the highest (p-trend=0.007). Geometric mean triglyceride levels ranged from 0.79 mmol/L (95% CI: 0.72, 0.86) to 0.89 mmol/L (95% CI: 0.83, 0.96) (p-trend=0.03) with greater consumption of added sugars. Among those overweight/obese (≥85th percentile body-mass-index [BMI]), HOMA-IRs were positively associated with added sugars (p-linear trend<0.001), averaging 78% higher among the highest vs. the lowest consumers (p<0.001). No significant trends were seen with low-density lipoproteins, body-mass-index, or blood pressure.
In US adolescents, consumption of added sugars is positively associated with measures of cardiometabolic risk. Long-term studies are needed to determine if reduction in added sugars will improve these parameters and, thereby decrease future cardiovascular events.
PMCID: PMC4167628  PMID: 21220734
Sugars; cardiovascular disease risk factors; lipids; triglycerides; diabetes mellitus
2.  Parental and Home Environmental Facilitators of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption among Overweight and Obese Latino Youth 
Academic pediatrics  2013;13(4):348-355.
To explore parental and home environmental facilitators of sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) and water consumption among obese/overweight Latino youth.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 55 overweight/obese Latino youth aged 10-18 and 55 parents, recruited from school-based clinics and a school in one West-coast district. All youth consumed SSBs regularly and lived in a home where SSBs were available. We used qualitative methods to examine key themes around beliefs about SSBs and water, facilitators of SSB and water consumption, and barriers to reducing SSB consumption.
A few parents and youth believed that sports drinks are healthy. Although nearly all felt that water is healthy, most parents and about half of youth thought that tap water is unsafe. About half of parent-child dyads had discordant beliefs regarding their perceptions of tap water. About half of parents believed that home-made culturally relevant drinks (e.g., aguas frescas), which typically contain sugar, fruit, and water, were healthy due to their “natural” ingredients. Participants cited home availability as a key factor in SSB consumption. About half of parents set no rules about SSB consumption at home. Among those with rules, most parent-child pairs differed on their beliefs about the content of the rules, and youth reported few consequences for breaking rules.
Obesity programs for Latino youth should address misconceptions around water, and discuss culturally relevant drinks and sports drinks as potential sources of weight gain. Healthcare providers can help parents set appropriate rules by educating about the risks of keeping SSBs at home.
PMCID: PMC3706467  PMID: 23680295
Hispanic Americans; obesity; beverages; adolescent
3.  Prevalence Estimates of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus in the United States, Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), 2007–2010 
The true prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is unknown. The objective of this study was 1) to provide the most current GDM prevalence reported on the birth certificate and the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) questionnaire and 2) to compare GDM prevalence from PRAMS across 2007–2008 and 2009–2010.
We examined 2010 GDM prevalence reported on birth certificate or PRAMS questionnaire and concordance between the sources. We included 16 states that adopted the 2003 revised birth certificate. We also examined trends from 2007 through 2010 and included 21 states that participated in PRAMS for all 4 years. We combined GDM prevalence across 2-year intervals and conducted t tests to examine differences. Data were weighted to represent all women delivering live births in each state.
GDM prevalence in 2010 was 4.6% as reported on the birth certificate, 8.7% as reported on the PRAMS questionnaire, and 9.2% as reported on either the birth certificate or questionnaire. The agreement between sources was 94.1% (percent positive agreement = 3.7%, percent negative agreement = 90.4%). There was no significant difference in GDM prevalence between 2007–2008 (8.1%) and 2009–2010 (8.5%, P = .15).
Our results indicate that GDM prevalence is as high as 9.2% and is more likely to be reported on the PRAMS questionnaire than the birth certificate. We found no statistical difference in GDM prevalence between the 2 phases. Further studies are needed to understand discrepancies in reporting GDM by data source.
PMCID: PMC4068111  PMID: 24945238
4.  Racial/Ethnic Differences in the Percentage of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Cases Attributable to Overweight and Obesity, Florida, 2004-2007 
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) affects 3% to 7% of pregnant women in the United States, and Asian, black, American Indian, and Hispanic women are at increased risk. Florida, the fourth most populous US state, has a high level of racial/ethnic diversity, providing the opportunity to examine variations in the contribution of maternal body mass index (BMI) status to GDM risk. The objective of this study was to estimate the race/ethnicity-specific percentage of GDM attributable to overweight and obesity in Florida.
We analyzed linked birth certificate and maternal hospital discharge data for live, singleton deliveries in Florida from 2004 through 2007. We used logistic regression to assess the independent contributions of women's prepregnancy BMI status to their GDM risk, by race/ethnicity, while controlling for maternal age and parity. We then calculated the adjusted population-attributable fraction of GDM cases attributable to overweight and obesity.
The estimated GDM prevalence was 4.7% overall and ranged from 4.0% among non-Hispanic black women to 9.9% among Asian/Pacific Islander women. The probability of GDM increased with increasing BMI for all racial/ethnic groups. The fraction of GDM cases attributable to overweight and obesity was 41.1% overall, 15.1% among Asians/Pacific Islanders, 39.1% among Hispanics, 41.2% among non-Hispanic whites, 50.4% among non-Hispanic blacks, and 52.8% among American Indians.
Although non-Hispanic black and American Indian women may benefit the most from prepregnancy reduction in obesity, interventions other than obesity prevention may be needed for women from other racial/ethnic groups.
PMCID: PMC3406742  PMID: 22515970
5.  Trends in Prevalence of Obesity and Overweight Among Children Enrolled in the New York State WIC Program, 2002–2007 
Public Health Reports  2010;125(2):218-224.
We examined recent overweight and obesity trends in a multiethnic population of low-income preschool children.
We defined overweight as sex-specific body mass index (BMI)-for-age ≥85th and <95th percentile and obesity as sex-specific BMI-for-age ≥95th percentile, and calculated them using demographic data and randomly selected height and weight measurements that were recorded while 2- to <5-year-old children were enrolled in the New York State (NYS) Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) during 2002–2007.
Obesity prevalence peaked at 16.7% in 2003, declined from 2003 through 2005, and stabilized at 14.7% through 2007. Among both boys and girls, the downward trend in annual prevalence of obesity was evident only among Hispanic children (22.8% boys and 20.9% girls in 2002 vs. 19.3% boys and 17.5% girls in 2007) and non-Hispanic black children (15.6% boys and 14.2% girls in 2002 vs. 13.6% boys and 12.4% girls in 2007). In contrast, the annual prevalence estimate for overweight showed an increasing trend from 2002 through 2007.
These results showed a slight decline in prevalence of childhood obesity and a continuing rise in prevalence of childhood overweight among children enrolled in the NYS WIC program during 2002–2007. Future research should investigate the extent to which the slight decline in childhood obesity prevalence may be attributable to population-based and high-risk obesity prevention efforts in NYS.
PMCID: PMC2821849  PMID: 20297748
6.  Caloric Sweetener Consumption and Dyslipidemia Among US Adults 
Dietary carbohydrates have been associated with dyslipidemia, a lipid profile known to increase cardiovascular disease risk. Added sugars (caloric sweeteners used as ingredients in processed or prepared foods) are an increasing and potentially modifiable component in the US diet. No known studies have examined the association between the consumption of added sugars and lipid measures.
To assess the association between consumption of added sugars and blood lipid levels in US adults.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Cross-sectional study among US adults (n=6113) from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999–2006. Respondents were grouped by intake of added sugars using limits specified in dietary recommendations (<5% [reference group], 5%–<10%, 10%–<17.5%, 17.5%–<25%, and ≥25% of total calories). Linear regression was used to estimate adjusted mean lipid levels. Logistic regression was used to determine adjusted odds ratios of dyslipidemia. Interactions between added sugars and sex were evaluated.
Main Outcome Measures
Adjusted mean high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), geometric mean triglycerides, and mean low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels and adjusted odds ratios of dyslipidemia, including low HDL-C levels (<40 mg/dL for men; <50 mg/dL for women), high triglyceride levels (≥150 mg/dL), high LDL-C levels (≥130 mg/dL), or high ratio of triglycerides to HDL-C (>3.8). Results were weighted to be representative of the US population.
A mean of 15.8% of consumed calories was from added sugars. Among participants consuming less than 5%, 5% to less than 17.5%, 17.5% to less than 25%, and 25% or greater of total energy as added sugars, adjusted mean HDL-C levels were, respectively, 58.7, 57.5, 53.7, 51.0, and 47.7 mg/dL (P<.001 for linear trend), geometric mean triglyceride levels were 105, 102, 111, 113, and 114 mg/dL (P<.001 for linear trend), and LDL-C levels modified by sex were 116, 115, 118, 121, and 123 mg/dL among women (P=.047 for linear trend). There were no significant trends in LDL-C levels among men. Among higher consumers (≥10% added sugars) the odds of low HDL-C levels were 50% to more than 300% greater compared with the reference group (<5% added sugars).
In this study, there was a statistically significant correlation between dietary added sugars and blood lipid levels among US adults.
PMCID: PMC3045262  PMID: 20407058

Results 1-6 (6)