Drinking fruit juice tied to weight gain in new study

The consumption of 100 percent fruit juice was found to be correlated with weight gain in children, according to an analysis.

The analysis, published Tuesday in JAMA Pediatrics, analyzed 42 studies looking into the association between drinking fruit juice, the body mass index (BMI) and weight gain. It found that drinking 100 percent fruit juice was tied to a higher BMI in children as well as weight gain in adults.

The study found that children younger than 11 have a “greater” BMI than older children when looking at the relationship between fruit juice consumption and BMI. The youngest group, which was 8 years or younger, had the largest BMI gains, according to the study.

“An 8-oz serving of 100% fruit juice, or a typical glass, would contribute to a larger proportion of daily energy in younger children than it would in older children. Our findings are in line with American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines that children younger than 6 years should consume less than a glass of fruit juice per day,” according to the analysis.

The analysis defined 100 percent fruit juice as having no added sugars. The BMI is a common health indicator that measures body fat based on height and weight.

The researchers went on to recommend the delaying of the introduction of 100 percent fruit juice to young children, keeping an eye on serving sizes and having children eat whole fruit instead. The research said an early introduction to fruit juice could lead to increased risk of being overweight and obese due to favoring sweeter foods.

“Although the effect sizes are modest, small gains in BMI over time may substantiate over the life course; therefore, limiting intake of fruit juice among children is an important strategy for them to develop healthy weight trajectories,” the study reads.

The analysis also noted that there was an association between consumption of the 100 percent fruit juice in adults and weight gain but added that it was “likely mediated in part by energy.”

“Our findings are in support of public health guidance to limit consumption of 100% fruit juice to prevent overweight and obesity,” the researchers concluded.

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