Fruit juice not linked to teen weight gain

March 10, 2010

A study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion shows that there may be no link between 100% juice consumption and weight gain in teens.

This study investigated the associations between 100% juice consumption, nutrient intake, and measures of weight in adolescents. Data from 3,939 adolescents, ages 12 to 18, participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2002 were analyzed. Twenty-eight percent of adolescents consumed 100% juice the day of the survey.

Compared to non-juice consumers, several nutrient intakes of juice consumers were higher, and intakes of fat and saturated fatty acids were lower. Those consuming > 6 oz of juice consumed more servings of fruit and less discretionary fat and added sugar than non-consumers. No differences were found in weight by juice consumption group.

In conclusion, when compared with non-juice consumers, adolescents consuming 100% juice did not show mean increased weight measures. Juice provided valuable nutrients, and consumption was associated with lower intakes of total fat, saturated fatty acids, discretionary fat, and added sugars and higher intakes of whole fruit.

“One hundred percent juice is a smart choice,” said lead author Theresa Nicklas of the U.S. Department of Agriculture/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine said in a statement. “Encouraging consumption of nutrient-rich foods and beverages such as 100% juice is particularly critical during adolescence—a unique period of higher nutrient demands.”