Field Notes

Society Launches Second Semester of JNEB Journal Club

At the beginning of September, the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) launched a second semester of the JNEB Journal Club. The club will consist of weekly webinars featuring authors from the latest issue of Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. During the webinars, the authors will review and discuss their research articles, and students will have an opportunity to ask questions. Each one-hour webinar will be broadcast at 1 pm ET and be available as a recording.

The series will focus on “Schools and Nutrition: Environment, Interventions, and Policy.” Planned presentations include the following:

September 23: “Using a Systematic Conceptual Model for a Process Evaluation of a Middle School Obesity Risk-Reduction Nutrition Curriculum Intervention: Choice, Control & Change” by Heewon Lee, PhD, RD, of the Teachers College, Columbia University

September 30: “Expanding Children's Food Experience: The Impact of a School-Based Kitchen Garden Program” by Lisa Gibbs, PhD, of the University of Melbourne, Australia

October 7: “Implementation of a School-Based Internet Obesity Prevention Program for Adolescents” by Robin Whittemore, PhD, APRN, FAAN, of the Yale School of Nursing

October 14: “Statewide Evaluation of Local Wellness Policies in Georgia: An Examination of Policy Compliance, Policy Strength, and Associated Factors” by Rodney Lyn, PhD, of Georgia State University

October 21: “Associations Between Whole Grain Intake, Psychosocial Variables, and Home Availability Among Elementary School Children” by Renee Rosen, PhD, RD, of the University of Minnesota

October 28: “A Pilot Comprehensive School Nutrition Program Improves Knowledge and Intentions for Milk and Alternatives Intake Among Youth in a Remote First Nation” by Michelle Gates, RD, MSc, of the University of Waterloo, Canada

November 4: “A Qualitative Investigation of Teachers' Information, Motivation, and Behavioral Skills for Increasing Fruits and Vegetables Consumption in Preschoolers” by Suzie Goodell, PhD, RD, of North Carolina State University

November 11: “Classroom Parties in United States Elementary Schools: The Potential for Policies to Reduce Student Exposure to Sugary Foods and Beverages” by Lindsey Turner, PhD, of the University of Illinois at Chicago

November 18: “Electronic Media and Beverage Intake Among US High School Students” by Zewditu Demissie, PhD, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

SNEB members can participate in the journal club free of charge. Nonmembers wishing to participate will be charged $25 per webinar, with the option of broadcasting the session live or viewing the recording. To register, visit

— Source: Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior


Preschoolers Drinking Sugary Beverages More Likely Obese

Young children who regularly drink sugary beverages are more likely to gain excessive weight and become obese, according to new research from the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Medicine.

Based on a review of data from 9,600 children aged 2 to 5 in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey, the study found that regular consumption of sugary drinks—defined as one or more 8-oz servings daily—was associated with higher BMI scores in 4- and 5-year-olds.

The study also found that 5-year-olds who regularly had sugary drinks were more likely to be obese, and 2-year-olds who regularly drank sugar-sweetened beverages had larger increases in BMI over the following two years than 2-year-olds who had sugary drinks infrequently or not at all.

The study also found that young children who regularly drink sugary beverages were more likely to drink less milk and watch more than two hours of television daily than children who had sugary drinks infrequently or not at all. “Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is only one practice out of many that contribute to obesity during childhood,” says UVA researcher Mark D. DeBoer, MD.

However, adds UVA researcher Rebecca Scharf, MD, drinking sugary beverages is one behavior “that’s potentially modifiable and therefore deserves attention.”

Parents and pediatricians should keep young children away from sugary drinks and instead offer water as one step toward avoiding excessive weight gain, the researchers conclude. “In addition to avoiding unhealthful calorie sources such as sugar-sweetened beverages, parents also should encourage healthful practices such as regular physical activity and adequate sleep,” DeBoer says.

While educating parents about healthful drink choices is important, the researchers also suggest that public health policy changes be strongly considered to reduce the consumption of sugary beverages. This may include additional limits on access to sugary drinks in schools.

“Providing access to nutritious foods and limiting overconsumption of soda at home, school, and in the community in early childhood is a potentially helpful way to improve long-term health outcomes for children,” Scharf says.

Source: University of Virginia Health System