Drinking fruit juice in childhood linked with better diet quality

25 - Fotolia_104221214_Child drinking juice - 28.85 x 19.38 @ 300 dpi

Drinking fruit juice in childhood linked with better diet quality

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An American study has found that young children who drink fruit juice tend to have a better diet quality when they reach their teens - with no impact on their weight gain.

The study followed up 100 children aged 3-6 years for around 10 years to check how drinking 100% fruit juice impacted on fruit intake, diet quality (vitamins and minerals) and their weight for height as they aged. 100% fruit juice was defined as pure juice with no added sugars.

The study found that diet quality and the amount of juice drunk tended to decline as they reached their teens. However, children who drank fruit juice regularly had higher intakes of vitamin C, while pre-school children who drank fruit juice were also more likely to eat whole fruit and achieve recommendations for fruit as they got older.

By the time children reached 14-17 years of age, they were nearly four times more likely to meet recommendations for whole fruit and total fruit if were daily fruit juice drinkers in their pre-school years. 

Importantly, the study found no association between fruit juice consumption and weight for height in any of the age groups, suggesting that drinking fruit juice doesn't lead to obesity.

The authors said the study "demonstrates that early juice consumption is an important determinant of overall fruit intake and better diet quality in later childhood years without having any adverse effect on energy balance".


Wan L. et al. (2020) A longitudinal study of fruit juice consumption during preschool years and subsequent diet quality and BMI. BMC Nutrition 6: 25.

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