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J Am Diet Assoc. 2001 Apr;101(4):432-7.

A longitudinal study of children's juice intake and growth: the juice controversy revisited.

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Department of Nutrition, College of Human Ecology, University of Tennessee, 229 JHB, Knoxville, TN 37996-1900, USA.



To determine associations between children's longitudinal juice intake and growth parameters at age 72 months and to determine children's beverage intake patterns over time.


White children (n = 72) residing in the vicinity of a Southern US city participated in a longitudinal study.


Seven in-home interviews were conducted per child when each child was between 24 and 72 months of age. The 7 sets of 3-day dietary data were analyzed for beverage intake, categorized as juice (100% juice only), milk, carbonated beverages, and other drinks (e.g., lemonade, tea, juice drinks). The following growth parameters were determined for each child at age 72 months: height, weight, body mass index (measured as kg/m2), and ponderal index (measured as kg/m3); the 3 latter are measures of overweight.


Associations between longitudinal juice intake and each growth parameter were tested with general linear models. Repeated measures analysis of variance tested changes in beverage intakes over time.


There were no statistically significant associations between juice and children's height, weight, or body mass index, as tested by general linear models. Children's longitudinal juice intake was negatively related to ponderal index (beta = 0.065, P = .050). Children's juice intake decreased significantly between ages 2 and 6 years, from 6.8 to 3.6 oz/day (P = .0001); intakes of carbonated beverages and other drinks increased from 1.7 to 3.8 oz/day (P = .0016) and from 2.7 to 6.2 oz/day (P = .0001), respectively.


Children's longitudinal juice intake was not associated with either short stature or overweight. As juice consumption decreased, intakes of less nutritious beverages increased. Consumption of 100% juices should be encouraged by health professionals and parents/caregivers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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