Dr. Lynn L. Moore, a Professor of Medicine at Boston University Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine, recently published new research online in Beverages. Moore and her colleagues discovered that pre-teen girls who drank 100% fruit juice had long-term good nutritional advantages with no harmful effect on weight, regardless of race, throughout adolescence.
“While total fruit consumption, particularly whole fruit consumption, has increased in recent years among younger children, this is not the case for older children,” Dr. Moore explained. “In fact, teens typically consume only about half of the daily recommended amount of whole fruit.” This study found that teen girls who drank 100% juice were almost twice as likely as girls who didn’t drink any juice to satisfy Dietary Guideline guidelines for whole fruit.” There were some racial disparities in fruit-eating in this study; black girls tended to consume 100% juice at a steady level throughout adolescence, despite declines in total fruit and, in particular, whole fruit intakes. Thus, 100% fruit juice contributed significantly to total fruit consumption among teenagers who drank little whole fruit.”
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larger intakes of 100% fruit juice throughout preadolescence were related to larger intakes of both whole fruit and total fruit, as well as higher quality diets throughout adolescence, according to this study. The females, both black and white, who drank the most juice (1.25 cups per day) also had the lowest BMI levels, whereas the nonfruit juice users had the highest BMIs. Girls who consumed 1.25 or more cups per day of 100% fruit juice during adolescence had a BMI that was 1.7 kg/m2 lower (24.1 kg/m2 vs. 25.8 kg/m2) than girls who did not drink fruit juice by the end of adolescence (ages 19-20 years).
The prospective National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s National Growth and Health Study collected numerous sets of 3-day meal records, as well as height and weight data, for approximately 2,100 girls over a 10-year period. There were almost the same number of black and white girls. Whole and total fruit consumption were compared to Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) requirements at each age, and diet quality was assessed using Healthy Eating Index (HEI) ratings.
Among the findings of the study were the following:
increased intakes of 100% fruit juice in females throughout preadolescence were linked to increased intakes of both whole and total fruit, independent of race.
Both white and black girls who drank 100% fruit juice throughout preadolescence were more than twice as likely as those who did not to reach current Dietary Guideline guidelines for whole fruit and total fruit intake throughout adolescence.
Fruit juice consumption was not connected with excessive weight gain, and the children who drank the most juice had the lowest Body Mass Index (BMI) during adolescence in this study.
This study backs up earlier results that juice consumption in the preteen and adolescent years may promote improved diet quality and larger intakes of whole fruit without having an unfavorable effect on weight.
“This study suggests that drinking juice may actually encourage more whole fruit and total fruit consumption.” Even children who drank more than one cup of fruit juice per day had better diet quality and lower BMIs than those who drank no juice at all,” Dr. Moore highlighted.
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Dr. Stephen R. Daniels, co-author and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine notes, “Fruit juice, in appropriate quantities, has a useful role in a healthful diet for adolescents.” Fruit juice can help teenagers achieve appropriate fruit intake, which is a struggle for many.”