No link between juice and children's weight
Updated: 2006-10-29 16:06
Consumption of 100% fruit juice not associated with weight
gain among children.
Drinking a glass of 100 percent fruit juice has long been thought of as a
healthy habit for both adults and children. Recently, however, people have been
confused about juice -- how much to drink, how much to serve their children --
partly because of the natural sweet taste of fruit juice.
According to Theresa Nicklas, professor of pediatrics at the Baylor College
of Medicine, parents should be confident serving their children appropriate
amounts of 100 percent fruit juice. Appropriate amounts, as defined by the
American Academy of Pediatrics, are no more than 4-6 ounces per day for children
1- 6 years old and 8-12 ounces per day for children 7-18 years.
Dr. Nicklas' latest study, published in the October issue of Pediatrics,
evaluated data from a national sample of preschool children and determined that
consumption of 100 percent juice was not associated with body mass index (an
indicator of overweight) among preschoolers.
The analysis done by Nicklas and her colleagues was based on the largest,
ongoing government database on food consumption (NHANES - National Health and
Nutritional Examination Survey).
As a child nutrition researcher, Dr. Nicklas states that there are many
factors associated with childhood obesity that are very poorly understood and
more research is needed regarding diet and also lifestyle and activity levels.
Dr. Nicklas emphasizes that children as well as adults need to consume more
fruits and vegetables. An analysis done by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory
Committee found that 100 percent fruit juices provide substantial amounts of
vitamin C, potassium and folate to the diet that would otherwise not be
consumed. A one-half cup of juice is equivalent to one serving of fruit.