New studies reveal: Fruit juice not related to overweight children
Recent studies completed by a university research group reveal that 100% fruit juice is not related to overweight in children.
With worldwide trends of increasing levels of obesity, the spotlight has been directed at obesity within children, and possible reasons for the increasing number of overweight children.
Sugars and calories have always been the obvious cause, including common beverages that have high levels of artificial or natural sugars. Fruit juices that are made up of 100% fruit (with no added sugars, colors or preservatives) have levels of sugar (albeit natural sugars) comparable to that of a soft drink. For this reason, studies undertaken on childhood obesity in the past have claimed that the consumption of 100% fruit juice by children and adolescents leads to overweight conditions.
Results from the most recent study.
Despite studies showing otherwise, 100% fruit juice consumption is NOT related to overweight in children, according to new studies performed by researchers from the Louisiana state university.
The statistics of overweight children around the world are alarming, especially in western countries. There was an average increase of overweight children by almost 3% from 1994 to 2002 in the US alone.
Earlier studies undertaken alleged that consumption of 100% fruit juice has led to an increased number of overweight children, due to misconceptions in levels of sugar and glucose levels in fruit juice alone.
The report examined 21 studies in regarding the relationship between 100% fruit juice consumption and found that there is “no systematic association between consumption of 100% fruit juice and overweight in children or adolescents.”
Fruit juice consumption can actually be beneficial.
Although consuming fruit juice in moderation is recommended by health associations around the globe, the study has cleared up common misconceptions, as well as highlighting the following benefit of the consumption of 100% fruit juice in children and adolescents:
100% fruit juice is normally nutrient dense, and consumption by children (and adults alike) represents a great way to aid in reaching dietary nutrient guidelines.
Common guidelines for children and adolescents.
Many healthcare professionals and parents hold the misconception that 100% fruit juice can lead to overweight children, but this theory is not true and there are certain dietary recommendations that should be followed.
According to the US department of Agriculture, 2 cups of fruit per day is an adequate amount, with the majority of this consisting of whole fruits rather than fruit juices. This figure once translated into pure fruit juice quantities would equate to 1 cup (8 ounces) of fruit juice per day. The importance of an active lifestyle is stressed here, as nutrition makes up only one half of the puzzle.
- Sciencedaily.com. 2008. Fruit Juice Consumption Not Related To Overweight In Children, Study Suggests. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080522145156.htm. [Accessed 13 August 14]
- Chicagotribune.com. 2012. Fruit Juice Consumption Fruit juice targeted in war on obesity Experts sound warnings about varied offerings and health problems. [ONLINE] Available at: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-05-24/news/ct-met-war-on-fruit-juice-20120524_1_juice-consumption-fruit-juice-juice-products-association. [Accessed 13 August 14].
- Carol E. O’Neil and Theresa A. Nicklas. A Review of the Relationship Between 100% Fruit Juice Consumption and Weight in Children and Adolescents. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. May/June 2008. doi:10.1177/1559827608317277