Drinking 100 per cent fruit juice in the early years can lead to healthier diet patterns later in childhood, without adversely impacting weight gain.
In a study by Boston University, published in the journal BMC Nutrition, researchers found that drinking fruit juice meant higher intake of whole fruit as well as better diet quality through childhood and into middle adolescence.
“This research provides important information showing that children who consumed about 1.5 cups of 100 per cent fruit juice per day during the preschool years tended to maintain healthier diets into adolescence than children who drank less than 1/2 cup per day during preschool,” lead researcher Lynn L Moore said in a statement.
“In addition, over 10 years of follow-up, juice consumption within the range typically consumed by these children (1-2 cups per day), was not associated with excess weight gain during childhood,” Dr Moore added.
From the study, researchers inferred that preschoolers with higher intake of 100 per cent fruit juice had significantly higher intakes of whole fruit and total fruit at 14-17 years of age than those children who consumed lesser juice.
It was further found that children with higher fruit juice intake during preschool years had significantly higher diet quality as compared to those with lower intake at all ages.
“Fruit consumption, particularly whole fruit consumption, has many health benefits throughout the lifespan. Avoiding juice during these early formative years may have unintended effects on evolving dietary behaviors…These benefits, associated with moderate intakes of 100 per cent fruit juice, were not accompanied by any adverse effects on childhood weight,” the researcher said.
(With inputs from ANI)
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