SQUEEZING OUT JUICE FROM KIDS’ DIETS MAY DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD
Research shows 100% fruit juice drinkers are 42% more likely to meet their 5 A Day and it could help 4.7 million in UK towards achieving the target.
With 91% of children currently failing to meet the 5 A Day target, new analysis of data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) presented this week at the Nutrition Society Conference in Dublin indicates that 100% fruit juice drinkers are more likely to meet the 5 A Day recommendation.
Dr Carrie Ruxton, who led the research, said, “Sugar has become public enemy no.1. Whilst overall I advocate a reduction in sugar consumption, removing 100% fruit juice completely from a child’s diet overlooks the essential nutrients such as vitamin C, folate and potassium that it provides. As this research shows, 100% fruit juice drinkers are 42% more likely to achieve the recommended 5 A Day and it does not displace whole fruit and vegetable intake from the diet. With such a low number (9%) of children aged 11-18 meeting their 5 A day, I encourage a common sense approach to 100% fruit juice consumption and recommend that a daily dose of 150ml (which equates to one of your 5 A Day) is nutritionally beneficial.”
As well as showing that people who drank more 100% fruit juice eat a greater quantity of fruit and vegetables compared to those who do not drink fruit juice, the research also found that the small difference in “free sugars” (non-milk extrinsic sugar NMES) between teenagers who drink fruit juice (≤150ml /day) compared to teenagers who do not drink fruit juice was insignificant. This means that drinking up to 150ml per day of 100% fruit juice offers benefits in terms of meeting the 5 A Day goal and has no impact on teens’ free sugar consumption.
Dietitian Dr Sarah Schenker, commenting on behalf of the British Fruit Juice Association noted, “It seems ill-judged to me that parents may be reluctant to give their children 100% fruit juice, when the 5 A Day target is so widely missed. I would encourage people to enjoy a sensible amount (150ml) of 100% fruit juice on a regular basis. It is an easy and tasty way to get one of your 5 A Day, especially for fussy eaters, and it can also help children become used to the taste of fruit and vegetables, helping lead to long-term positive food choices.”
She continued, “This research suggests that eliminating fruit juice will not have an impact on free sugar intake, but may deprive consumers of a much-needed serving of fruit and vegetables. 100% orange juice is simply fruit that is juiced and consuming a 150mL glass a day provides a high source of vitamin C and source of folate and potassium. The sugars, carbohydrates and fibre in 100% fruit juice are naturally occurring in the whole fruit from which it is squeezed.”
The research, presented as part of Poster Session 6 at the Nutrition Society Summer meeting at University College Dublin, was undertaken by nutritionists Dr Carrie Ruxton and Sigrid Gibson who conducted a secondary analysis of fruit juice intake and other dietary parameters from the NDNS 2008-12 (n=2967; 11-99 year olds). The NDNS provides the only source of high quality nationally representative data on the types and quantities of drink and foods consumed by individuals.
The research also revealed that we are not over-consuming 100% fruit juice. The average fruit juice consumption was 83g per day for 11-18 year old and 52g per day for 19-64 year olds which is below the recommended daily amount of a 150ml portion which counts as one of your 5-a-Day. Moreover previous research has shown that 100% fruit juice consumers tend to have a lower BMI than non-consumers.
Thank you to the British Fruit Juice Association for this interesting article, here’s a little bit of information about them for you.
The British Fruit Juice Association
The British Fruit Juice Association was formed in 1941 as a response to citrus shortages during the Second World War and rationing and consists of fruit juice importers, contract packers, transport and storage professionals, blenders, fruit and vegetable processors, category managers, new product developers, distributors and juice creators. The BFJA represent businesses working in the fruit juice industry that are both large, small and anything in-between including a number of start-ups. It provides a focal point for knowledge-sharing, networking, up-skilling and resource-sharing amongst businesses working in the fruit juice industry. For more information please visit www.bfja.org
Disclosure – this is a collaborative post however no payment has been received.