Fruit juice does not make children fat

Researchers in the United States say there is no link between a child's consumption of pure fruit juices and their chances of being overweight.

The researchers who presented their study this week in Toronto at the Pediatric Academic Societies' annual meeting say that drinking 100% juice does not make children overweight.

A team led by Dr. Theresa Nicklas professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston looked at the diets of more than 3,600 children aged 2 to 11 from a database used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used to measure obesity rates among Americans, conducted from 1999 to 2002.

The parents of the children gave detailed information on everything their children ate and drank during the previous 24 hours; the children's height and weight were also recorded.

Nutrition researcher Dr. Nicklas says they found no link between the consumption of 100% juice and excess weight among children and what is more, even among those children who consumed the most juice, there was no association with being overweight or a risk for becoming overweight.

Nicklas says in fact the children aged two to three who drank the most juice were nearly three times less likely to be overweight than children who drank no juice at all.

The researchers also found that children who drank any amount of pure juice ate more whole fruit, consumed more of several vitamins and minerals, and consumed less salt, fat, and added sugars than children who didn't drink 100% juice.

It is recognised that in general weight comes down to calories consumed and calories burned and the study does not indicate whether the children drinking 100% juice were more active than those who didn't drink 100% juice.

The study was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Juice Products Association.

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