By Raheem Akingbolu
New research has shown that consumption of fruit juice by children aged two to 18 years is closely linked to improved nutrient adequacy during their formative years.
Drinking 100 per cent fruit juices plays an important role in the diets of young children by supplying them with the important nutrients during these crucial years of growth and development, it stated.
The research titled, “A longitudinal study of fruit juice consumption during preschool years and subsequent diet quality and BMI,” which was carried out by Boston University and published online at BMC Nutrition in May 2020 by Lynn L. Moore and colleagues found that young children who regularly consumed 100 per cent fruit juice at a young age went on to eat more fruits and vegetables and were more likely to develop healthier diets and eating habits in their teenage years than their peers who drank much less fruit juice when they were younger.
The results of the study encouraged the inclusion of 100 per cent fruit juice as part of an overall balanced diet, whilst stressing that contrary to previous research, regular consumption of fruit juices did not put children at a greater risk of being overweight in later years.
The study also noted the required daily quantity, calling out that it is also important for pre-school and nursery age children to drink at least one and a half cups of 100 per cent pure fruit juice every day.
The study stated that 100 per cent fruit juice could help meet recommended daily goals for fruit intake because it is a nutrient-dense drink that provides vitamins, minerals (folic acid, thiamine and magnesium) and beneficial plant nutrients like polyphenols.
Lead researcher, Moore said: “Fruit consumption, particularly whole fruit consumption, has many health benefits throughout one’s lifespan.
“Avoiding fruit juice during these early formative years may have unintended effects on evolving dietary behaviors. Fruit juice drinking in young children may promote better diet quality and higher intakes of whole fruit.”
He added that the benefits associated with moderate intakes of fruit juice, were not accompanied by any adverse effects on childhood weight.
In Nigeria, one brand that is at the forefront of promoting the nutritional benefits of 100 per cent fruit juice is Chivita 100%.
“Chivita 100% is a 100% fruit juice product renowned for its high quality, nourishing benefits and refreshing taste. Chivita 100% contains no added sugar, no preservatives, and no artificial colours or artificial flavours,” a statement explained.