A longitudinal study of fruit juice consumption during preschool years and subsequent diet quality and BMI

Li Wan, Phani Deepti Jakkilinki, Martha R. Singer, M. Loring Bradlee & Lynn L. Moore
BMC Nutrition, May 2020

Longitudinal study, researchers tracked diet records as well as height and weight data from 100 children 3-6 years of age enrolled in the Framingham Children’s Study and followed them for 10 years.

Key Findings: Drinking 100% fruit juice early in life is associated with healthier dietary patterns in later childhood without adversely impacting weight gain.

  • Preschoolers with higher intakes of 100% fruit juice (≥1 cups/day) had significantly higher intakes of whole fruit and total fruit at 14-17 years of age than those children who consumed little juice (<0.5 cups/day).
  • Preschoolers who consumed more fruit juice in the early years of childhood consumed more whole fruit at the same time and continued to consume more whole fruit into adolescence
  • Preschoolers who drank more 100% fruit juice (≥0.75 cups/day) were 3.8 times more likely to meet current Dietary Guideline recommendations for whole and total fruit intake during adolescence than those preschoolers with low intakes.
  • Those children with higher fruit juice intakes during preschool years had significantly higher diet quality scores (6 points higher according to 2015 Healthy Eating Index Scores) than those children with lower juice intakes at all ages.
  • Fruit juice consumption was not associated with change in Body Mass Index (BMI) during childhood and into middle adolescence.

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