Juice Gets More Negative Press

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More reasons to limit kids' (and adults) juice consumption. (Did you really need more?) In the November issue of Pediatrics (the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics) researchers report that the more juice a child consumes (they looked at toddlers aged 1-4), the greater her gain in body fat over time, but only if that child is already overweight or at risk of being overweight. They didn't find this same effect in normal weight children, however. In contrast the more whole fruit kids ate the less fat they gained over time. Score another one for whole fruit!

This study really just adds more fuel to the fire supporting the recommendation to limit kids' juice intake to 4-6 ounces a day. (That's 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup everyone.. not a lot). The trick is to not get them started on juice in the first place. They certainly don't need it if they are fruit eaters. If they are juice drinkers, try diluting with water by at least half. Or try some of the low calorie or calorie free fruit drinks sweetened with Splenda, which is considered safe for children to consume. There is a huge selection of these kinds of low calorie beverages out there that will appeal to almost any child's picky thirst quenching need. Experiment with several until you find the ones you and your family like.

Or you could go with the old standby, water. (Too simple, I know).

The emphasis here is to limit fruit juice consumption, not necessarily eliminate it. A little does go a long way, but a lot might go to the hips (or belly, or rear, pick your body part).

If you'd like to read the whole study Fruit Juice Intake Predicts Increased Adiposity in Children from Low-Income Families here's the URL address http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/118/5/2066#SEC2.

Today, make it WHOLE fruit and veggie filled!

(photo courtesy of naama)
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About the Author

Registered dietitian Andrea N. Giancoli is a nutrition advocate, consultant and educator.

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