Drinking 100% fruit juice may be linked to weight gain in children – study

Drinking a glass or more of 100% fruit juice each day may be linked to weight gain in children, new research suggests.

Researchers say the findings support guidance to limit consumption of fruit juice to prevent intake of excessive calories, and to prevent weight gain.

A review of studies in children suggests that each 237 ml glass of fruit juice per day of 100% fruit juice was associated with a 0.03 higher body mass index (BMI).

The research also found that younger children showed greater weight gain than in older children.

Among studies that followed up with adults, 100% fruit juice was associated with weight gain among studies that did not account for intake of calories.

This suggests that excess calories plays a role in this link, the researchers say.

Lead author, Michelle Nguyen, of the University of Toronto, Canada, said: “Our findings support guidance to limit intake of 100% fruit juice, especially for younger children – to consume whole fruit instead of fruit juices.”

Some experts suggest 100% fruit juice may contribute to weight gain due to the high amounts of sugars and energy.

These drinks contain little to no fibre compared with the whole fruit form, meaning lower satiety.

Findings, published in Jama Paediatrics, looked at a total of 42 studies, including 17 among children and 25 among adults.