Consumption of 100 percent fruit juice is closely linked to improved nutrient adequacy among 2- to 18-year-olds, according to new research published in the current online issue of Public Health Nutrition, the Juice Products Association reports.
The new study from researchers at the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center and Baylor College of Medicine highlights the effect that consumption of fruit juice had on select nutrients (ones that have been identified as “nutrients of concern” and are most frequently under-consumed in children’s diets), namely: dietary fiber; vitamins A, C and E; magnesium; folate; phosphorus; calcium; and potassium.
According to the findings, with the exception of vitamin E and fiber, consumption of 100 percent juice was associated with higher usual intakes of all of the aforementioned nutrients. (Of note, although juice drinkers did not exhibit higher intakes of dietary fiber, their fiber intake was not lower than non-consumers, as experts have previously speculated may occur). These results underscore the role of 100 percent juice as a nutrient-dense beverage—a classification also noted in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
“One hundred percent fruit juice plays an important role in the diets of children and teens, supplying important nutrients during crucial years for growth and development,” says lead researcher Dr. Carol O’Neil. “Drinking 100 percent juice should be encouraged as part of an overall balanced diet.”
Additionally, this study is the first to show that fruit juice consumers were more likely to exceed the adequate intake for calcium than those not consuming juice. It is unclear if this is due to intake of calcium-fortified juices or if fruit juice was more likely to be consumed alongside calcium-rich foods and beverages.
In this study, the researchers used data from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to examine the diets of a nationally representative sample of children and adolescents age 2 to 18.
For more information about the health benefits of 100 percent fruit juice, visit www.fruitjuicefacts.org.