February 23, 2012

2 Min Read
Low-Income Kids Drink Too Much Juice

ANN ARBOR, Mich.Children from low-income families drink nearly twice the amount of juice recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), making them more susceptible to obesity and early tooth decay, according to results of a University of Michigan C.S. Mott Childrens Hospital National Poll on Childrens Health survey.

The poll surveyed parents of young children of all economic levels about their childrens juice consumption. Overall, 35% of parents report their children ages 1 to 5 years drink two or more cups of juice on a typical day. AAP recommends limiting fruit juice in children ages 1 to 6 years to one serving per day. Results reveal many kids in low-income families are getting more than the recommended amount of juice, and 35% of lower-income parents said that their childs doctor recommends juice.

It is important to limit juice consumption in young children because there is such a strong link between consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and child health problems like obesity and early tooth decay," says Sarah Clark, M.P.H., Associate Director of the Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit at the University of Michigan and Associate Director of the National Poll on Childrens Health. For many obese children, sugary beverages make up a large proportion of their daily energy intake."

Of parents whose household income is less than $30,000 annually, 49% report that their children drink two or more cups of juice per day. Only 23% of parents with household incomes of $100,000 or more report that their children drink two or more cups of juice per day.

Both childhood obesity and early dental problems are more prevalent in lower-income children, so the children were most worried about in terms of these conditions are also those who are drinking the most juice," Clark said.

The researchers noted parents may think juice is an easy way for their child to get a serving of fruit, but its often difficult to pick out 100 % fruit juice amid the sugar-sweetened juice drinks. The AAP recommendation for even 100 percent fruit juice is that it is limited to no more than one serving per day.

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