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Study links daily fruit juice consumption to weight gain in children and adults


Daily fruit juice tied to weight gain in new study, caution urged, especially for children

The meta-analysis, comprising 42 studies, indicated that each additional serving of 100% fruit juice per day in children was associated with a 0.03 increase in BMI — AFP/Files

Consuming a daily glass or more of 100% fruit juice is linked to a minor weight gain in both children and adults, according to a recent analysis of prior studies, reported CNN

Dr Walter Willett, a renowned nutrition researcher, highlighted a key concern with juice — it’s potential for overconsumption due to concentrated fruit content, raising the risk of increased calorie intake and elevated blood glucose levels. 

While the study doesn’t establish direct causation, pediatric endocrinologist Dr Tamara Hannon considers the findings clinically valid, prompting the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to caution against juice for infants under one and recommend limited intake for older children.

Dr David Katz, a preventive medicine specialist, advised against routine juice consumption, emphasising its occasional suitability as a sweet treat. The impact of 100% fruit juice on the body is distinct from whole fruits, as the latter includes essential nutrients packaged with fiber. Drinking juice, lacking this fiber, can lead to a rapid influx of fructose into the bloodstream, potentially causing health issues over time.

The meta-analysis, comprising 42 studies, indicated that each additional serving of 100% fruit juice per day in children was associated with a 0.03 increase in BMI. 

Although the initial findings in adults showed no impact, a subset of studies adjusting for calorie measurement revealed a slight 0.02 BMI change. 

Dr Hannon advised parents to discuss juice consumption with doctors, emphasizing that juice should not be considered a healthy thirst-quenching option. Instead, whole fruits are recommended for snacks and treats, with juice limited to a maximum of half a cup a day if used as a fruit serving.



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