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Fruit-Flavored Rehydration Solutions Preferred by Children

Sucralose-sweetened, fruit-flavored drinks found more palatable than rice-based drinks

TUESDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Children appear to have a preference for fruit-flavored, sucralose-sweetened oral rehydration solutions over rice-based solutions, according to research published in the August issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Stephen B. Freedman, M.D., of the University of Toronto, and colleagues randomized 66 children, 5 to 10 years old, to consume as much as they wanted of one of three oral rehydration solutions during a 15-minute period in a three-period, three-treatment crossover trial. The palatability of the solutions was assessed using a visual analog scale of 0 to 100 mm, with 0 being worst-tasting and 100 being best-tasting.

The researchers found a significant carryover effect for taste scores, which differed significantly regardless of adjusting for the carryover effect. Pedialyte was the favorite, at 65 mm, followed by 58 mm for Pediatric Electrolyte and 23 mm for Enfalyte; there was no significant difference in mean volumes consumed. For best-tasting, 35 of the 66 children (53 percent) selected Pedialyte, 26 children (39 percent) selected Pediatric Electrolyte, and five children (8 percent) selected Enfalyte.

"Sucralose-sweetened oral rehydration solutions (Pedialyte and Pediatric Electrolyte) were significantly more palatable than was a comparable rice-based solution (Enfalyte)," the authors write.

PendoPharm provided the Pediatric Electrolyte used in the study.

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