Disease Proof

A Juicy Question

Do you drink fruit juice? I do—wait, wait, wait—relax! I know Dr. Fuhrman isn’t big on people downing tall glasses of fiber-less fruit juices. That’s why I only drink pomegranate juice, daily in fact, and even Dr. Fuhrman thinks that’s a good idea. From the comments of Pomegranate Power:
I do not think a little fresh squeezed fruit juice is bad, just not a good idea for those who are trying to lose weight. Certainly, even a few ounces of pomegranate or red grapefruit juice is not going to blow your diet. Similar to olive oil, people think because my book, Eat to Live encourages the reader to avoid oil, (because all oil is 120 calories a tablespoon and it can add up fast) that I am dead set against using even a little bit of olive oil occasionally. Apply the principles, but it does not have to be that rigid.
But, Dr. Fuhrman does make it pretty clear that you’re better off eating the whole fruit instead of just consuming the juice—although, news reports can confuse us. Like this one about a new study claiming there is no link between childhood obesity and drinking 100% fruit juice. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News reports:
"We did not find a relationship between 100 percent juice consumption and overweight among children. Even among the children who consumed the most juice, we found no association at all with the children being overweight or at risk for overweight," Dr. Theresa Nicklas, a child nutrition researcher at the United States Department of Agriculture's Children's Nutrition Research Center at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said in a prepared statement.

The findings were expected to be presented today at the Pediatric Academic Societies' annual meetings, in Toronto, Canada.

Drinking 100 percent juice also had no impact on the amount of milk kids consumed, Nicklas said.

The mean daily consumption of 100 percent juice among the children in the study was 4.1 ounces (about 1/2 cup), which is in keeping with recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

About 13 percent of the children consumed 12 ounces or more of 100 percent juice a day, but this increased consumption was not associated with overweight or increased risk for being overweight.
Now stop me if I’m rambling, but doesn’t this study give off the wrong impression. I’m no scientist, but even I could have guessed that only a small number of children consume 100% fruit juice. Have you seen 100% fruit juice (it looks like these Nutrient-Dense Juices)? It’s thick and heavy, not clear and watery like the trendy “all natural” beverages sold in supermarkets and advertised between Blue’s Clues and Sesame Street.

So I wonder. If your average person reads this report will they be able to differentiate between fruit juice and 100% fruit juice. Hold on, let me shake my magic 8-ball…”Outlook not so good.” Because it doesn't surprise me that 100% fruit juice won’t increase the risk of obesity, but, if all those pseudo-juices did, let’s just say I wouldn’t be shocked.

How do you feel about this research? Did you get the same impression as I did?
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Jude - May 12, 2007 2:02 AM

I find this juice controversy annoying. I've always purchased 100% fruit juice for my kids. Obesity isn't a problem in our family, maybe because we're vegetarians. I'll continue to drink 100% fruit juice whenever I feel like it and even rarely drink a soft drink when we eat out, because I don't think it matters all that much.

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