Title: 0034 - Consumption of Between-Meal Sweet Snacks and Beverages and ECC


Walid Al-Soneidar (Presenter)
University of North Carolina

Andrea Ferreira Zandona, University of North Carolina
Beau Meyer, University of North Carolina
Jeannie Ginnis, University of North Carolina
Mikafui Antonio-Obese, University of North Carolina
Kimon Divaris, University of North Carolina


Objectives: Dietary sugars constitute a well-established causal component in early childhood caries (ECC) development. However, evidence for the prevalence and role of frequent between-meal sugar-containing snacks and beverages (BMSB) consumption is scant. We therefore sought to: a) determine the prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of BMSB consumption, and b) quantify the association between BMSB and clinically-determined dental caries, in the context of a community-based genetic epidemiologic study of early childhood oral health.

Methods: Cross-sectional clinical and survey data were analyzed for 1,015 preschool-age children [mean age= 53 months; African-American (AA)=49%] enrolled in NC Head Start and participating in the ZOE 2.0 study. Clinical data were collected by trained and calibrated examiners using modified ICDAS criteria— caries experience was defined at the ‘established/severe’ level (ICDAS ≥3 for the ‘d’ component). The daily reported BMSB consumption frequency was categorized as ‘low’ (0-1), ‘moderate’ (2-3) and ‘high’ (4+). In addition to descriptive analyses, log-binomial models were used to estimate prevalence ratios (PR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) as measures of association between BMSB and dental caries.

Results: Forty-nine percent of the examined children had caries experience; most (66%) reported moderate BMSB consumption, whereas 29% and 5% reported low and high consumption, respectively. BMSB differed between racial groups (p=0.02) with AA having the highest consumption. Caries prevalence was higher among those with ‘high’ (PR=1.67; 95% CI=1.32-2.10) and ‘moderate’ (PR=1.26; 95% CI=1.07-1.47) BMSB consumption compared to ‘low’. Adjustment for children’s and parents’ sociodemographic characteristics, slightly attenuated the estimate of association between ‘high’ vs. ‘low’ BMSB consumption and dental caries (PR=1.53; 95% CI=1.24-1.89).

Conclusions: There was a strong positive gradient between the frequency of BMSB consumption and dental caries, irrespective of children’s sociodemographic characteristics. Concerted family-, community-, and system-level efforts are warranted to reduce sugar exposure and thus promote oral health among vulnerable populations of preschool-age children.

Student Presenter

This abstract is based on research that was funded entirely or partially by an outside source:
The ZOE 2.0 study is supported by NIH/NIDCR grant U01-DE025046

Disclosure Statement:
The submitter must disclose the names of the organizations with which any author have a relationship, the nature of the relationship, and the clinical or research area involved. The following is submitted: NONE

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