Prior to the formation of the Juice Products Association in 1957, children consumed mostly water and milk. Since then, juice consumption among children has risen dramatically - along with childhood obesity. Today, annual fruit juice product sales in the USA exceed $10 billion, and children consume about a quarter of all fruit juice. In 2001, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published pediatric guidelines for fruit juice:
- Fruit juice offers no nutritional benefit for infants younger than 6 months
- Fruit juice offers no nutritional benefits over whole fruit for infants older than 6 months and children.
- One hundred percent fruit juice or reconstituted juice can be a healthy part of the diet when consumed as part of a well-balanced diet. Fruit drinks, however, are not nutritionally equivalent to fruit juice.
- Juice is not appropriate in the treatment of dehydration or management of diarrhea.
- Excessive juice consumption may be associated with malnutrition (overnutrition and undernutrition).
- Excessive juice consumption may be associated with diarrhea, flatulence, abdominal distention, and tooth decay.
- Unpasteurized juice may contain pathogens that can cause serious illnesses
- A variety of fruit juices, provided in appropriate amounts for a child's age, are not likely to cause any significant clinical symptoms.
- Calcium-fortified juices provide a bioavailable source of calcium but lack other nutrients present in breast milk, formula, or cow's milk.
As the graphic illustrates, the "no sugar added" marketing slogan on many juice containers does not mean low sugar; it means the typical un-sweetened juice contains more sugar than Coke or Pepsi. Without the fiber contained in the whole fruit, consuming a typical fruit juice is nearly equivalent to consuming sugar and water - a combination that is likely to suppress appetites for foods containing less sugar despite the nutritional benefit. In addition, agave nectar, a relatively new sweetener, is a highly concentrated formulation that contains 90% fructose concentration compared to 50% found in high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). The negative metabolic effect of such large loads of sugar exist whether the product is described as organic or natural.
by Simons Chase - LBS.CO