June 16, 2024

Drinking fruit juice could lead to weight gain in children, as many contain as much sugar as soda, a study suggests. 

In a review of more than 40 studies, researchers in Canada measured body mass index (BMI) changes in both kids and adults who drank 100 percent fruit juice for at least two weeks. 

They found that each serving of juice for kids resulted in a small increase in BMI.

This suggests that drinking 100 percent fruit juice could lead to weight gain in kids due to high amounts of sugar, which can rival that of soda. 

For instance, one 11oz bottle of orange juice contains roughly eight and a half teaspoons of sugar, while a 12 oz can of Coke contains around nine and a half teaspoons. 

Federal guidelines recommend no more than six teaspoons for women and nine for men per day. 

Researchers in Canada found that each eight-ounce serving of fruit juice led to a 0.03 BMI increase in children.

Researchers in Canada found that each eight-ounce serving of fruit juice led to a 0.03 BMI increase in children.

The researchers wrote: ‘Our findings support guidance to limit consumption of fruit juice to prevent intake of excess calories and weight gain.’ 

The researchers from the University of Toronto looked at 42 studies, including 17 on children and 25 on adults. In total, they included 45,851 children and 268,095 adults in North America, Europe, Australia, South America, and Asia.

Juices in the studies were compared to no-calorie alternatives like water and diet sodas with artificial sweeteners. The juices were made from pomegranates, berries, cherries, apples, grapes, or other citrus.

The team measured changes in BMI alongside each eight-ounce serving of 100 percent fruit juice during each study.

They found that, on average, each eight-ounce serving of fruit juice was associated with a BMI increase of 0.03 in children. 

The researchers wrote: ‘Our systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies in children demonstrated a positive association between 100% fruit juice consumption and change in BMI, with younger children showing higher BMI for each additional serving per day than older children.’

However, there were no significant weight changes in adults. 

Dr David Shusterman, a urologist in New York, previously told DailyMail.com that many fruit juices, which may seem healthy, are packed with added sugars. 

‘I think those are really bad for most people, especially if they’re undiluted,’ he said. 

‘People buy orange juice and cranberry juice and all these juices, and their carbohydrate and sugar count is through the roof.’ 

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) states that the average amount of sugar in both soda and fruit juice is 20- to 26 grams per cup. A 2019 study from Harvard University, for example, found that drinking three-and-a-half extra glasses of orange juice per week can raise the risk of diabetes by 15 percent. 

Additionally, researchers in the UK found that each three-ounce serving of pure fruit juice increased the odds of developing cancer by 12 percent. 

The researchers said: ‘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.’

The study was published Tuesday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.  

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