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Fruit Juice May Be Healthy for Kids: Study
Date:6/3/2008

No weight gain seen among those who drink 100% juice, but not all experts agree with findings

TUESDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- Children who drink 100 percent fruit juices apparently don't tend to be overweight, and they may enjoy more nutritious diets than kids who don't drink the beverages, a new study finds.

"We found juice consumption was not excessive among children," said lead researcher Theresa A. Nicklas, a professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. "In addition, 100 percent juice consumers had a better diet than children who did not drink juice."

Fruit juice is healthy, Nicklas said, adding, "One hundred percent juice contributes valuable nutrients in children's diets. This may be an important way for parents to get a serving of fruit into their children's diet."

A common misconception is that 100 percent juice contains added sugar, Nicklas said. "It contains naturally occurring sugar just like you would find sugar in milk or whole fruit," she said.

The study -- partially funded by the Juice Products Association, which represents manufacturers and marketers of juice drinks -- was published in the June issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

In the study, Nicklas and her colleagues collected data on 3,618 children age 2 to 11 who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999 and 2002. As part of the survey, children were weighed, measured, and the types of food and drink they consumed were noted.

The researchers found that children drank about 4.1 ounces of juice a day, which contained about 58 calories. They didn't find any association between drinking juice and being overweight.

Children who drank 100 percent juice consumed more calories, carbohydrates, vitamins C and B6, potassium, riboflavin, magnesium, iron and folate. They also had significantly less intake of total fat,
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