Fruit juice intake is not related to children’s growth
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BACKGROUND: Excessive fruit juice intake (>12 ounces/day) has been reported to be associated with short stature and obesity in preschool children.
OBJECTIVE: To confirm whether excess fruit juice intake was associated with short stature and obesity in preschool children, we assessed growth parameters and fruit juice intake in 105 white children, ages 24 to 36 months.
METHODOLOGY: Mothers were interviewed twice by a registered dietitian when children were age 24, 28, or 32 months (interview 1) and when children were age 28, 32, or 36 months (interview 2); interviews were assigned randomly. At each interview mothers provided 3 days of dietary data (one 24-hour recall and a 2-day food record) and the registered dietitian weighed the child and measured his/her height. Dietary data were analyzed using Nutritionist IV software. Each child's body mass index (wt/ht2) and ponderal index (wt/ht3) were calculated for each interview. Growth parameters of children consuming <12 ounces/day 100% fruit juice were compared with those consuming >/=12 ounces/day using the Student's t test, chi2, Fisher's exact test, and mixed model repeated measures analyses (PROC MIXED).
RESULTS: Results consistently indicated no statistically significant differences in children's height, body mass index, or ponderal index related to fruit juice intake. Intakes of soda pop were negatively related to intakes of milk and fruit juice although intakes of milk and fruit juice were not related.
CONCLUSIONS: The consistent lack of relationship between children's fruit juice intake and growth parameters in our study does not support previous recommendations to limit the intake of 100% fruit juice to <12 ounces/day.