Submitted to: American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2008
Publication Date: 8/1/2008
Citation: O'Neil, C.E., Nicklas, T.A. 2008. A review of the relationship between 100% fruit juice consumption and weight in children and adolescents. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. 2(4):315-354. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Studies assessing a relationship between consumption of 100% fruit juice by children and adolescents and weight are contradictory. The purpose of this review was to assess the 9 cross-sectional and 12 longitudinal studies that have looked at this association. Of the 9 cross-sectional studies reviewed, only 3 reported any association. Those studies used small, local, convenience samples of preschool children; furthermore, selection criteria were not well defined. One found that preschool children consuming greater than or equal to 12 fluid oz/day of 100% fruit juice had a higher prevalence of overweight than those who consumed less than 12 oz/day (32% vs. 9%). Later, a separate study showed that this relationship held only for apple juice. Another study demonstrated an association of overweight and energy from juice. These 3 studies were not nationally representative. Only 3 of the longitudinal studies showed an association between 100% fruit juice consumption and weight; 1 found an association only in adolescent girls and 2 reported an association in children who were already overweight. None of the longitudinal studies were nationally representative; but 5 had sample sizes of at least 1000, 2 were ethnically diverse, and 3 had geographically separate sites, suggesting that the findings could be applicable to wider populations. Based on the currently available evidence, it can be concluded that there is no systematic association between consumption of 100% fruit juice and overweight in children or adolescents. Data do support consumption of 100% fruit juice in moderate amounts and suggest that consumption of 100% fruit juice may be an important strategy to help children meet the current recommendations for fruit.