Kids who drink 100-percent juice are no more likely to be overweight than children who do not drink juice, finds a new study.
In fact, they may have a better overall nutrient intake.
Drinking juice has been associated with overweight and obesity in some studies, and Theresa A. Nicklas, Dr.P.H., of Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, and colleagues set out to find out if this was indeed true.
The boffins analyzed data from a group of 3,618 children age 2 to 11 who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 1999 and 2002.
They also conducted in-home interviews, in which the children were weighed and measured, and they or their parents reported the types of foods and drinks they consumed.
According to their findings, on average, the children drank 4.1 fluid ounces of juice per day, which contributed an average of 58 calories to their diet.
However, they did not find any link between drinking juice and being overweight even though kids who drank juice had significantly higher intakes of calories, carbohydrates, vitamins C and B6, potassium, riboflavin, magnesium, iron and folate and significantly lower intakes of total fat, saturated fat, discretionary fat and added sugar.
Researchers also found that kids who drank juice also ate more whole fruit than those who did not drink juice.
"It is not clear why some children drink more fruit juice and what the association is with increased intake of fruit in these individuals," the authors write.
"Taste and availability are two generally recognized factors in increased intake of fruit and vegetables; usual food intake, subjective norms, parenting style and visual benefits of eating fruit and vegetables are others.
"One-hundred-percent juice consumption was associated with better nutrient intake than in the non-consumption group and was not associated with weight status or the likelihood of being overweight in children 2 to 11 years of age," the authors concluded.
The study appears in the June issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.