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OK to have OJ!

Posted Jun 18 2008 6:09pm

For a long time now, parents have become paranoid about giving their young children juice. There’s been so much hype in the media - largely because of the low carb fads, I think - about how “bad” juice is. There is, after all, so much SUGAR in that stuff! Even if it’s 100% unsweetened juice, it’s potentially deadly. It’s a diabetes inflicting, fat kid maker. Isn’t it?

Not so fast.

A new study that reviewed nine contradictory studies has shown there is little evidence to support this theory that drinking juice (again, I am talking aboutpurefruit juice here) will result in fat children.

Upon examination, many of those studies showed faulty methodology in coming to the conclusion that fruit juice could lead to obesity, the review said. Several studies used too small or too remote of a sampling pool to be considered scientifically significant. Another study looked only at the influence of apple juice, and another only at the effect of juice on children who were already overweight.

So, let’s get this straight. Parents have been panic-stricken over the thought of letting their kids have pure fruit juice based on crappy, biased research. It’s not a big shocker, considering how “out to get fat people” most of these sorts of studies seem to be, but it is disturbing when you consider the trend that has grown as a result of 100% juice being considered “bad.”

What trend is that, you ask? The increased popularity of sucralose in drinks that are popping up in the juice aisle. I just happen to hate sucralose. It’s not that I think it’s “bad” like some people do, though with how much artificial crap kids are already eating, I see no reason to add more via something that is better pure, like fruit juices. What’s next? We genetically design sucralose infused fruits? I mean, diets like Atkins will tell ya how bad fruit is on the sugar front.

I personally find the taste of sucralose gross. Also, the people at Splenda really pissed me off with their “made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar” ad campaign (which I believe they’ve since been ordered to pull). Why? Well, yes, it’s made from sugar… but it’s so processed that the chemical structure is altered to a point where the human body can’t even break it down, and it passes through the body virtually unchanged. Whereas, aspartame, while not derived from a “natural source,” is comprised of an amino acid the body already recognizes and breaks down just fine (and actually, this is why people who have thegenetic disorder PKUcan’t consume aspartame - it’s the same amino acid that causes problems for them). I just know people who’d never give their kids aspartame, and yet give them sucralose. It’s in all sorts of products marketed at children now, including frozen juice pops (which in the past have been 100% juice!).

Obviously, as the article I linked to points out, if you can get kids to eat fruit, that’s far more ideal. Eating is certainly more satisfying than drinking, which helps to allow kids to retain their natural ability to eat intuitively. I also recommend cutting juice with water for any child under 2, but that’s just because I’ve seen the diapers of children drinking pure fruit juice, and it often ain’t pretty. I worked with young children long enough to know that kids are better off if they wait until about 3 to have 100% juice, but I only recommend cutting it with water because of the potential for diarrhea (which then turns into a diaper rash risk). Not because I am afraid it will make your kid fat.

Seriously, though, with so many messages out there that aren’t accurate, how are our children ever to have a healthy relationship with food? If they grow up thinking pure fruit juice is “bad” for them, but that artificially sweetened products are “good,” that’s a pretty sad sign of how twisted we’ve become as a society.



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