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Many children across the country prefer sugary, sweet drinks like soda to healthy drinks like water and juices. However the results of a new study suggest that the parents of these children may want to get them a vitamin D test, as soda drinkers tend to get less of the nutrient.
The study followed 170 five-year-old girls for a period of 10 years, documenting their meals. The girls who started the study drinking 4 or more ounces of soda per day were less likely to reach recommended daily levels for other nutrients like fiber, calcium and vitamin D.
A deficiency of the vitamin can be dangerous to young people, as it can lead to conditions like rickets, depressive mood and low bone density which can stay with children the rest of their lives.
Lead researcher Laura Fiorito said that drinking excess soda may interfere with absorption of key nutrients, but the drink also often takes the place of more nutritious drinks, setting children on a pattern of poor nutrition.
"[It is] not just because of what they are consuming, but because of what they are not consuming," she said. "We think that the patterns develop when they are younger. Some studies show that children are already drinking soda or carbonated beverages at age two."
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