OJ Consumption Aids Children’s Health

Ernie NeffOrange Juice

OJ

Moderate consumption of 100% orange juice (OJ) should be encouraged in children due to its multiple health benefits and lack of negative impacts on body weight, numerous studies indicate.

The studies have revealed that children who regularly drink 100% orange juice have higher intakes of key nutrients, higher quality diets, and may have healthier lifestyle habits than children who do not drink OJ. Additionally, recent studies align with past studies which help debunk the myth about 100% orange juice and weight gain. They show that orange juice intake is not associated with weight gain in children.

“Misconceptions about the perceived lack of health benefits of 100% orange juice are unfortunate and could lead kids to potentially miss out on the nutritional benefits that OJ provides,” said Rosa Walsh, director of scientific research at the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC). “However, study after study confirms that 100% orange juice not only has a place in the diets of children, but it can also serve as an easy way for parents to provide key nutrients without fear of adverse effect on body weight when served in moderation. By sharing the big picture these results show, we can help correct these misconceptions and empower both consumers and health professionals to make diet decisions grounded in scientific evidence.”

A 4-ounce serving of 100% OJ is an excellent source of vitamin C, and an 8-ounce serving for older children is a good source of potassium, folate and thiamin. Fortified orange juice additionally contributes calcium and vitamin D.

Further,100% orange juice is not being overconsumed by children, despite reports to the contrary. In fact, OJ consumption by children has declined in recent years. On average, 100% orange juice accounts for less than 1% of total daily calorie intake in the diets of children.  Children are, on average, consuming 100% OJ well below the 100% juice limits established by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). AAP supports 4 to 6 ounces for children under age seven and 8 ounces for older children.

Consumption of 100% OJ is not associated with overweight or obese children. In fact, research shows that in some cases, 100% OJ consumers had less chance of having elevated body weight and may be taller compared to those who do not consume OJ.

Source: Florida Department of Citrus

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