Assessment of Consumption Habits and Attitude Regarding Sports Drinks, Sugar Sweetened Beverages and Aerated Soft Drinks in Children Involved in Organized Sports in New Delhi

Research Article

Austin J Nutri Food Sci. 2017; 5(2): 1088.

Assessment of Consumption Habits and Attitude Regarding Sports Drinks, Sugar Sweetened Beverages and Aerated Soft Drinks in Children Involved in Organized Sports in New Delhi

Mridula G and Urvashi B*

Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, India

*Corresponding author: Bhushan U, Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, BSZ Marg, New Delhi, India

Received: June 22, 2017; Accepted: July 25, 2017; Published: August 01, 2017


Aim: To assess consumption pattern of Sports drinks, Sugar sweetened beverages and Aerated soft drinks and evaluate dental erosion among children involved in sports in New Delhi, India.

Design: A cross-sectional study was done to assess the consumption habits of sports drinks and soft drinks among children playing organized sports in New Delhi. The sample comprised of 300 children aged 6 to 18 years attending various sports training programs. A close-ended structured questionnaire was used to evaluate consumption patterns of young athletes. Intra oral examination was done to evaluate dental erosion and to understand the association with consumption habits of acidic drinks.

Results: The present study showed that 61% participants were not aware of what a “Sports drink” was and 30% thought that they were good for oral health. Of all the participants, 20.3% consumed it once a day and 5.7% consumed it more than once a day. Sugar sweetened beverages and aerated soft drinks were consumed more than once a day by 49.4% and 43.7% subjects, respectively. Dental erosion was high among children who consumed sports drinks, aerated soft drinks and was statistically significant (p<0.05).

Conclusion: Knowledge about sports drinks was inadequate which indicates an urgent need for preventive and promotive programs for children, coaches and parents in New Delhi, India.

Keywords: Sports drinks; Soft drinks; Aerated beverages; Dental erosion


SSBs: Sugar Sweetened Beverages; SPSS: Statistical Package for Social Sciences


Good oral health is crucial for successful performance in sports and for the overall well being of the child. Children who participate in strenuous sports require the highest levels of nutrition to meet the energy demands of their activities. Dental erosion is defined as the irreversible loss of dental hard tissues caused by a chemical process not involving bacteria [1]. Over the last two decades, tooth erosion has become a significant clinical problem [2,3]. Dental erosion in children involved in Sports is a growing concern due to the frequent ingestion of sports drinks [4]. Sports drinks are acidic drinks, like fruit juices and carbonated drinks, most of which have pH below 5.5, the critical pH for enamel demineralization to occur [2,5]. Additionally, they also have free sugars thus having potential to cause dental caries also. They are used primarily by athletes to provide carbohydrates, electrolytes and for fluid replacement. Sports drinks are becoming increasingly popular in children and adolescents to quench their thirst and provide extra energy to improve their performance in sports. Increased consumption of sports drinks, aerated soft drinks and other Sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) puts children at increased risk of dental erosion. The frequent intake of sports drinks and carbonated mineral water has been implicated in tooth erosion [6]. Unusual drinking habits such as swishing or holding acidic drinks in the mouth for prolonged periods have also been linked to dental erosion [7]. Apart from oral health risks, consumption of these acidic beverages has been linked to obesity, diabetes, cardiac problems and gout as well [8,9].

Uninhibited advertising, promotion and unawareness of these Acidic drinks pose a big public health hazard. The marketing of these drinks has become a lucrative money minting industry. Easy availability of food vending machines and fast food restaurants further catalyze the uninterrupted intake of these harmful beverages. Children and adolescents engaged in organized sports are especially vulnerable to external influences due to lack of adequate knowledge.

There is limited literature on knowledge and consumption habits of acidic drinks in children involved in organized sports, especially in India. Few studies have examined the effect of consumption pattern (frequency, method and timing of consumption) of these drinks on dental erosion. In light of the lacunae in literature, the objectives of the present study were to (i) to assess the knowledge regarding sports drinks in children involved in organized sports; (ii) to evaluate the consumption habits of various acidic beverages and (iii) to investigate the relationship between consumption patterns of acidic drinks and dental erosion.

Materials and Methods

An observational, cross-sectional study was conducted at Indira Gandhi Sports Stadium in New Delhi, India. Ethical approval was obtained from the Institutional Ethics Committee prior to the commencement of the study. A sample of 300 children aged 6-18 years, who played different contact and non contact sports, were invited to participate in the study. Informed consent was obtained from all subjects prior to their participation in the study. Before the start of the study, the examiner was calibrated by a Pediatric Dentist Specialist at the Institute. The inter-examiner agreement was assessed using Kappa statistics which was found to be in the satisfactory range (85% to 95%).

A close-ended structured questionnaire was exclusively developed for data collection and validated by a panel of experts. The questionnaire comprised of 15 items, with questions on type of sports played, knowledge about sports drinks, frequency of consumption of sports drinks, aerated soft drinks and SSBs, timing of consumption of these drinks and habits of drinking (Figure 1). The participants’ gender, age, education level and sports activity were recorded. A basic intra oral examination was also carried out to evaluate the presence or absence of dental erosion and number of teeth involved in dental erosion. The clinical examination and recording of questionnaire was performed by single examiner the criteria from the Basic Erosive Wear Examination (BEWE) index for grading erosive wear was used [10]. Scores of 0, 1, 2 and 3 were given for No erosive tooth wear, Initial loss of surface texture, Distinct defect with hard tissue loss <50% of the surface area and Hard tissue loss >50% of the surface area, respectively. The data was entered using MS Excel and statistical analysis was performed using SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences, version 17). For the ease of statistical analysis, the scores for erosion were dichotomized as Present (Score 1, 2, 3) or absent (Score 0). Descriptive statistics were obtained for different variables and Chi-square test was applied to determine the relationship between consumption habits and dental erosion.