Effects of a multipronged beverage intervention on young children's beverage intake and weight: A cluster-randomized pilot study

Anna H. Grummon, Michael D. Cabana, Amelie A. Hecht, Abbey Alkon, Charles E. McCulloch, Claire D. Brindis, Anisha I. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate whether a multipronged pilot intervention promoting healthier beverage consumption improved at-home beverage consumption and weight status among young children. Design: In this exploratory pilot study, we randomly assigned four childcare centres to a control (delayed-intervention) condition or a 12-week intervention that promoted consumption of healthier beverages (water, unsweetened low- or non-fat milk) and discouraged consumption of less-healthy beverages (juice, sugar-sweetened beverages, high-fat or sweetened milk). The multipronged intervention was delivered via childcare centres; simultaneously targeted children, parents and childcare staff; and included environmental changes, policies and education. Outcomes were measured at baseline and immediately post-intervention and included children's (n 154) at-home beverage consumption (assessed via parental report) and overweight/obese status (assessed via objectively measured height and weight). We estimated intervention impact using difference-in-differences models controlling for children's demographics and classroom. Setting: Two northern California cities, USA, 2013-2014. Participants: Children aged 2-5 years and their parents. Results: Relative to control group children, intervention group children reduced their consumption of less-healthy beverages from baseline to follow-up by 5.9 ounces/d (95 % CI -11.2, -0.6) (-174.5 ml/d; 95 % CI -331.2, -17.7) and increased their consumption of healthier beverages by 3.5 ounces/d (95 % CI -2.6, 9.5) (103.5 ml/d; 95 % CI -76.9, 280.9). Children's likelihood of being overweight decreased by 3 percentage points (pp) in the intervention group and increased by 3 pp in the control group (difference-in-differences: -6 pp; 95 % CI -15, 3). Conclusions: Our exploratory pilot study suggests that interventions focused comprehensively on encouraging healthier beverage consumption could improve children's beverage intake and weight. Findings should be confirmed in longer, larger studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2856-2867
Number of pages12
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Beverage consumption
  • Child care
  • Early childhood
  • Obesity prevention intervention
  • Overweight/obesity
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of a multipronged beverage intervention on young children's beverage intake and weight: A cluster-randomized pilot study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this