OJ Could Address Fruit Shortfall in Adult Diets

Ernie NeffOrange Juice, Research


While whole fruit consumption increased in adults between 2003 and 2016, the intake of several key nutrients decreased over time, a new study shows. Adding 100% orange juice (OJ) to the diet could help address this shortfall and bolster intake of other key nutrients found in OJ.

A cross sectional analysis using the nationally representative National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data for adults age 19 and older found significantly higher intakes of whole fruit. Despite that increase in whole fruit, the study found a significant decrease in the intake of folate, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin C, iron, sodium and zinc over these time periods.

The study, funded by the Florida Department of Citrus, found that from 2003 to 2016 the amount of 100% orange juice consumed decreased 42%, the intake of all 100% fruit juices decreased 34%, while whole fruit intake increased 25%. However, the intake of total fruit (fresh, canned, frozen, dried and100% fruit juice combined) did not change and continues to fall short of national recommendations.

When examining intake amounts for 100% OJ, higher intake was associated with a greater likelihood of meeting nutrient intake recommendations for several key nutrients, including folate, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamins B6 and D, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. This study also found that OJ consumers had different dietary patterns than non-consumers, and that OJ and other 100% juices were the key food sources contributing to higher intakes of calcium, folate, phosphorus and magnesium. That suggests that the consumption of OJ and 100% fruit juices, particularly calcium-fortified varieties, could be a strategy for increasing the intake of those nutrients.

“This study supports what we have seen in previous studies, that 100% OJ consumption by adults has dropped over time and, on average, adults are not meeting even half of their total fruit intake recommendation. 100% orange juice, particularly calcium-fortified juice, can help boost total fruit intake and enhance the intake of several key nutrients lacking in the diets of adults,” said Rosa Walsh, director of scientific research for the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC).

More research is needed to determine the best way to support and enhance nutrient intake and overall health in adults. FDOC’s Scientific Research Department continues to fund research projects to examine the nutrition and health benefits of 100% orange juice.

Learn more about OJ’s health benefits for adults and children.

Source: Florida Department of Citrus

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