Parents should lessen their children's consumption of sugary beverages, as according to Science Daily, this may increase their chances of becoming overweight.

In a study which involved 9,600 kids, researchers from the University of Virginia School of Medicine found that four- to-five-year-olds who drank more than one eight-ounce serving of sweetened drinks every day were more likely to have higher body mass index (BMI) scores than their peers. Five-year-olds who often drink sugary beverages were more likely to be obese while two-year-olds were more likely to fast-track their BMI increase in the next two years.

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Aside from having high sugar content, researchers believe that sweetened beverages are becoming substitutes for healthier drinks such as milk and water. This, together with other factors (such as too much TV and irregular sleeping habits), raises the odds of children becoming overweight.

The good news is that this habit can still be revered. Start by preparing fresh fruit juices and shakes at home and encouraging your kids to bring water tumblers to school. This doesn’t only train them to shy away from sweetened beverages—it also helps them stay healthy in the long run.

(Photo by Tamaki Sono via Flickr Creative Commons)

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