OBJECTIVE--To identify children suffering morbidity from excessive intake of energy from fluids. DESIGN--Prospective enrolment of outpatients in a supervised reduction of energy rich fluid intake. SETTING--Outpatient paediatric clinic. SUBJECTS--Eight children (four boys, mean age 20.8 months, mean duration of symptoms seven months) who were referred with non-specific symptoms such as poor appetite, poor behaviour at mealtimes, poor weight gain, and loose stools. RESULTS--All children were able to reduce their intake of energy rich fluids, as prescribed. All children demonstrated an improvement in symptoms and an increase in weight. CONCLUSIONS--A careful dietary history, which includes documentation of fluid intake may identify children whose intake of high energy drinks may be excessive. The pathogenesis, symptoms, and response to treatment of these patients are consistent enough to be regarded as a distinct clinical entity: the 'squash drinking syndrome'.
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