Theresa Nicklas, PhD; Carol O’Neil, PhD, RD; and Victor Fulgoni, III, PhD
International Journal of Child Health and Nutrition. May 2015; 4: 112-121.
This cross-sectional study conducted by researchers Theresa Nicklas at Baylor College of Medicine and Carol O’Neil at Louisiana State University, examined the impact of various levels of 100% fruit juice (FJ) consumption on intake of nutrients, diet quality, and weight in children 2-18 years of age, using NHANES 2007-2010. Researchers assessed Healthy Eating Index scores based on 24-hour dietary recall data. Average per capita consumption of 100% FJ consumed was 3.6 fl oz (50 kilocalories; 2.9% energy intake); 30% of children 2-6 years exceeded the recommendation for 100% FJ.
Juice drinkers had higher intakes of vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium and overall higher diet quality (higher HEI scores); no difference was found in total fiber intake and no trends were seen in weight with increased amounts of 100% FJ consumed, even among those who consumed more than the recommended amount. In addition, 100% fruit juice consumers ate significantly more whole fruit than non-consumers and had
lower intakes of total fat, saturated fat, sodium and added sugar. This research showed 100% juice did not replace milk in the diet.
Key Findings: Consumption of 100% fruit juice was associated with higher nutrient intake, better diet quality and greater consumption of whole fruit than non-fruit juice drinkers in a nationally representative sample of US children. In addition, drinking 100% juice was not associated with body weight and adiposity. Based on these results, 100% juice complements, rather than competes with, whole fruit consumption and does not
replace milk in the diet.
Review of 2007-2010 NHANES data looking at a nationally representative sample of children age 2-18 years found children who drink 100% juice have higher intakes of vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium and overall higher diet quality. They also had lower intakes of total fat, saturated fat, sodium and added sugar and consumed significantly more whole fruit than non-consumers; no difference was found in total fiber intake.