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Consumption of 100% fruit juice could potentially lead to increased body weight in both children and adults, as indicated by a study released on Jan. 16 in the online edition of JAMA Pediatrics.

Michelle Nguyen and her team from the University of Toronto recently undertook a comprehensive literature review, aiming to analyze the impact of 100% fruit juice consumption on body weight in both children and adults.

100% fruit juice linked to BMI increase

Their study encompassed 17 studies on children and 25 studies on adults. In children, the findings revealed that an additional daily serving of 100% fruit juice correlated with a 0.03 increase in body mass index. For adults, studies not adjusting for energy intake showed a connection to greater body weight gain (0.21 kg), while those adjusting for energy intake demonstrated a decrease (−0.08 kg). Notably, randomized clinical trials in adults did not exhibit a significant link between 100% fruit juice consumption and body weight.

For the purposes of this study, 100% fruit juice was characterized as fruit juices devoid of any added sugars. While the observed increases were modest the extent of the association varied based on age, with more pronounced BMI increases observed in younger children.

More fruit juice serving increases BMI in children

The study indicates that children under 11 years old experience a higher increase in BMI with each additional 8-oz serving per day of 100% fruit juice compared to older children. While the findings don’t necessarily advocate for eliminating juice entirely, they do emphasize the importance of being mindful of consumption.

The authors align with public health recommendations to limit 100% fruit juice intake to prevent overweight and obesity. The study raises concerns about the role of “liquid calories” in weight gain, suggesting that the lack of fiber in juice, as opposed to whole fruit, may contribute to lower satiety, making individuals feel less full after consuming juice.

The study aligns with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation for children under 6 to limit fruit juice intake to less than one 8-ounce glass per day.