VANCOUVER, March 26 (Xinhua) -- A study released by University of British Columbia (UBC) finds that teenage students who consume sugar-sweetened beverages are more likely to be obese.
The study, published on Wednesday in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, looked at more than 11,000 B.C. students from Grades 7 to 12.
The study, based on data taken from more than 170 schools in 2007-08, found the availability of sugar-sweetened beverages impacted students' odds of being obese - it said the availability of unhealthy foods in general was linked to higher consumption of those foods.
The survey also found students from schools in suburban and rural settings were more likely to be overweight than students in urban settings. Girls had lower odds of being obese than boys.
Louise Masse, the study's lead author, said the results are further proof that schools play an important role in shaping the dietary habits of youths. But Masse, of UBC's school of population and public health, noted this province has taken significant steps to address the issue of sugar-sweetened beverages in the years since the data was collected.
"The province has been very pro-active in changing the school environment. We have assessed that it's been changed. We are definitely on the right path. Certainly, we need to make sure that we continue along this path," she said.