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Pediatr Obes. 2016 Jun;11(3):221-7. doi: 10.1111/ijpo.12048. Epub 2015 Jun 25.

Longitudinal evaluation of 100% fruit juice consumption on BMI status in 2-5-year-old children.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.
Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA, USA.



Obesity in childhood is related to multiple lifestyle factors. Our objective was to evaluate the relationship between consumption of 100% fruit juice and weight status over time among pre-school children.


We used linear and logistic multivariable regression to evaluate body mass index (BMI) z-score and overweight/obese status as a function of 100% fruit juice intake for 8950 children examined at ages 2, 4 and 5 years as part of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort, a representative sample of the United States.


Cross-sectional analysis at ages 4 and 5 years showed no difference in the prevalence of overweight and obesity between consistent juice drinkers and inconsistent/non-drinkers. Longitudinal analysis found that children who drank 100% juice consistently at age 2 years had greater increases in BMI z-score by age 4 years than infrequent/non-drinkers (P < 0.0001), a difference driven by lesser increases in height z-score (P = 0.0003) and slightly greater increases in weight z-score (P = 0.0550) among consistent juice drinkers over the 2 to 4 year time period. Additionally, consistent juice drinkers at age 2 had higher odds of becoming overweight by age 4 (adjusted odds ratio 1.30; CI 1.06-1.60). These differences in growth parameters were not noted between ages 4 and 5 years.


Drinking 100% fruit juice regularly at age 2 is associated with higher odds of becoming overweight between 2 and 4 years. Paediatricians and parents can discourage excessive fruit juice consumption as part of a larger effort to avoid unhealthy gain in BMI in young children.


fruit juice; obesity; sugar; weight gain

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